The two ministers focused discussions on the implementation of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership, as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern, and cooperation contents between their ministries.
They expressed their delight at the strong and steady development of the relations between the two countries. Political ties are consolidated with increasing trust, and security and defence cooperation is more effective, especially in the field of United Nations peacekeeping.
Two-way trade hit nearly 16 billion USD last year, helping Vietnam become Australia’s 10th biggest trade partner, and Australia Vietnam’s seventh largest trader. New areas of cooperation such as climate change response and energy transition are being promoted, including a support package of 105 million AUD (67.6 million USD) for Vietnam to build infrastructure to respond to climate change and develop clean energy.
The two FMs highly valued their ministries’ close coordination and cooperation, especially in serving high-level contacts and delegation exchanges, and agreed to maintain coordination in holding activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year.
Exchanging views on regional and international situations, they agreed to strengthen cooperation and continue contributions to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the region.
Wong affirmed that Australia values cooperation and supports the central role of ASEAN, and agrees to continue promoting collaboration for the sustainable development of the Mekong sub-region.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two officials affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation; and respecting international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They vowed to continue backing each country's candidates at regional and international organisations and forums, especially at the UN.
Vietnam-Australia partnership grounded on friendship, strategic trust: FM Wong
The partnership between Vietnam and Australia is grounded on friendship and strategic trust, visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong affirmed on August 22.
The minister told the press in Hanoi that the two countries want to maintain their practical cooperation and are working together to elevate the relationship to a comprehensive strategy partnership.
Wong stressed that the two countries share the wish for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region in which sovereignty is respected, and share the commitment to ASEAN centrality.
As part of ASEAN, Vietnam is very important to Australia, especially in terms of economy, she said, noting that Australia recognises Vietnam’s “thriving economy” and wants to expand the bilateral trade and investment ties.
“And we want to work together on the big challenges of our time, which include climate change,” the official added, informing that she announced Australia’s new 94.5 million AUD support package for climate change adaption in the Mekong Delta from 2023 to 2034 at a forum which took place earlier the same day.
Vietnam and Australia share the commitment to net zero emissions and are working together to drive the transition to clean energy, she further explained.
Education is another important cooperation area between the two countries, and “Australia can offer education and capacity building to Vietnamese people and officials,” she continued.
On August 22 morning, the minister took a stroll around the iconic Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake in the very heart of Hanoi and enjoyed an egg coffee, a signature drink of the capital city.
This is Wong’s second visit to Vietnam in her capacity as foreign minister of Australia, following her first in June 2022 when she tried “pho ga” (chicken noodle soup), an iconic dish of Vietnam.
At the press conference, the minster highlighted that Vietnam boasts “excellent food” and “great history”, with hospitable people who said “hello”, smiled and waved to her even they don’t know who she is during the morning walk.
The friendship between people is important and it is on top of the economic ties, she stressed.