Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison consented to elevate bilateral trade between Vietnam and Australia from nearly US$7.8 billion in 2018 to US$10 billion next year during their talks in Hanoi on August 23
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison speak at a press briefing announcing the outcomes of their talks.
At the talks, PM Phuc said he believes that Morrison’s first official visit to Vietnam in his capacity as Prime Minister of Australia will make considerable contributions to fostering the friendship and the strategic partnership between the two nations.
PM Morrison, in turn, hailed the tremendous achievements Vietnam has recorded in national construction and development which, he said, have helped to raise its role and position in the region and the world, especially within ASEAN and the UN.
He also affirmed Australia’s recognition of great importance to promoting ties with Vietnam – its key strategic partner in ASEAN and the region.
The two leaders were appreciative of last year’s two-way trade turnover of US$7.8 billion, stating that despite Australia’s huge investment in Vietnam with close to 500 projects and combined investment capital outstripping US$ 200 billion, both nations still hold plenty of potential and strength in this regard.
The two sides, therefore, agreed to work out an enhanced economic engagement strategy with a view to becoming top ten trade partners and doubling investment.
They will also push ahead with the first ministerial-level Vietnam-Australia economic partnership meeting to further enhance bilateral relations in trade, investment and development cooperation.
They concurred to enhance two-way connectivity, expand collaboration in energy security and seize digital opportunities, including digital economy and e-government.
PM Phuc praised Australia for sending a top business delegation to Vietnam in 2020.
PM Morrison agreed to facilitate market penetration of Vietnamese aquatic and agricultural products, saying his country is considering the import of Vietnamese live shrimp and fresh longan.
The two government leaders voiced their support for the rules-based multilateral trading system and cooperation to promote regional economic integration through free trade agreements to which both countries are signatories such as the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as well as cooperation in multilateral economic frameworks, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
They showed their elation at the strong, dynamic and effective development of the Vietnam-Australia relationship over the past time, saying Vietnam and Australia boast great potential to bolster their ties in the time ahead.
They glowing spoke of the regular exchange of all-level delegations through all channels and agreed to start the annual meeting mechanism of high-ranking leaders, while maintaining the meeting mechanisms at the foreign affairs, national defence and economic ministerial levels established within the strategic partnership.
The two sides noted with pleasure the effective and result-oriented cooperation in national defence and security, especially Australia’s assistance to Vietnam in joining United Nations peacekeeping operations.
The PMs are set to participate in an exchange with Vietnamese peacekeeping forces being trained by the Australian side at the Military Medical University during PM Morrison’s visit.
PM Phuc urged the two sides to expand partnerships in potential fields such as defence industry, cyber security and training connectivity.
PM Morrison consented to augment bilateral security cooperation with a particular focus on navigation and cyber security, and join hands in combating cross-border crimes, human trafficking and terrorism.
The two government leaders shared the view that people-to-people exchange has grown steadily as a result of substantial progress in cooperation on education, culture, tourism, labour and sports.
PM Phuc applauded Australia’s announcement that from September 2 this year, Australia will increase the number of Work and Holiday Maker visa places for Vietnamese nationals from 200 to 1,500.
They vowed to beef up cooperation in coping with climate change, reducing plastic waste and exploiting seafood sustainably.
During their talks, the leaders compared notes on regional and international strategic and security issues. Australia pledged strong support to Vietnam in assuming the role of the ASEAN Chair in 2020 and as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.
Meanwhile, PM Phuc said Vietnam backs Australia’s efforts to strengthen connectivity with ASEAN, expressing his hope that Australia will bolster its cooperation with countries in the Mekong sub-region in areas such as connectivity, ICT, climate change adaptation and water resource management.
Concerning the East Sea, the PMs expressed deep concern about developments in the East Sea, including land reclamation and militarisation of disputed features.
They also expressed concern over disruptive activities pertaining to long-standing oil and gas projects in the East Sea.
The two PMs underlined the importance of freedom of navigation and aviation, compliance with international law and maintaining a rules-based order. They called on all parties to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation.
They also underscored the need for states to settle disputes peacefully, without the threat or use of force in line with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Both sides emphasized the importance of UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms and called upon the parties to respect and realize the decisions under these mechanisms.
They reiterated the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
They called for any Code of Conduct between ASEAN and China to be fully conform to international law, particularly UNCLOS.
The two PMs witness the signing of cooperation between the two countries' agencies.
After the talks, Phuc and Morrison witnessed the signing of five cooperation documents on e-Government, finance, human trafficking combat and aviation services and then co-chaired a press conference announcing the outcomes of their talks.
Australian PM Scott Morrison is on an official visit to Vietnam from August 22-24 at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.