National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (middle), President of the Senate Sue Lines (right) and Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick (left). (Photo: VNA)

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue has affirmed that his ongoing Australia visit aims to further deepen the strategic partnership and cooperation between the two legislatures, not only bilaterally but also at multilateral forums, towards the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic relations next year.

Hue, who has been on an official visit to Australia from November 30 to December 3, made the statement during his talks with President of the Senate Sue Lines and Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick in Canberra on November 30.

Both sides shared the view that the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership has been growing steadily, practically, effectively and evenly in all spheres, from politics - foreign affairs, economy-trade-investment, and national defence-security, to education, agriculture and labour.

In particular, the exchange of high-level delegations and meetings has been maintained regularly while bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been flexibly deployed both online or in-person. Two-way trade surpassed 10 billion USD for the first time to 12.4 billion USD in 2021 and 13.4 billion USD in the first ten months of this year. As of September, Australia had invested in 577 projects valued at 1.97 billion USD in Vietnam.

Hue thanked Australia for increasing the supply of official development assistance to Vietnam by 18% to 93 million AUD (62.5 million USD) in the 2022-2023 fiscal year as well as assisting Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 by donating 26.4 million doses of vaccine to adults and children via bilateral channels and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), along with other medical supplies.

The two sides agreed to facilitate high-level visits via Party, State, parliament channels and people-to-people exchanges, jointly hold activities to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2023, and speed up the implementation of the bilateral Plan of Action for the 2020-2023 period and other deals.

The two countries will step up collaboration in national defence-security, agriculture, education-training, tourism and culture while expanding cooperation in new fields such as climate change response, green growth, energy transition, digital transformation and digital economy.

As room for economic cooperation remains large, the leaders held that the two legislatures will facilitate the exchange of goods, especially opening the door for each other’s farm produce, expanding and accessing markets for their enterprises; working closely with competent agencies to effectively implement the 2021-2025 Plan of Action under the Vietnam-Australia Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES).

Dick promised to encourage Australian corporations and businesses to enhance investment in Vietnam in areas of their strength such as renewable energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance-banking, manufacturing, services, education, tourism, high-tech agriculture, climate change response, sci-tech, supply chain, mining and aviation.

The Vietnamese leader suggested Australia create conditions for Vietnamese businesses to increase investment in the country in the fields of agriculture, mining, and aviation, while accelerating the issuance of visas for Vietnamese agricultural workers to work in Australia.

He also proposed Australia help Vietnam fulfill its commitments to net zero emissions by 2050 made at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26), and continue with cooperation and stable supply of coal and liquefied natural gas to help Vietnam ensure energy security.
The leaders expressed their satisfaction with Vietnam-Australia close coordination in issues of shared concern at international forums and organisations, including the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.

On this occasion, Hue thanked Australia for backing Vietnam in its capacity as Vice President of the UN General Assembly's 77th session representing Asia-Pacific and a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 tenure.

He also agreed with the Australian leaders to support the upgrade of the bilateral strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership when relevant procedures are completed for the benefit of the people of the two nations and for peace, cooperation and development in the region.

In the near future, they pledged to continue maintaining the exchange of visits by senior leaders of the two legislative bodies, step up the sharing of legislation and supervision experience, create favourable conditions for the two countries' Friendship Parliamentarians Groups to operate; direct ministries, agencies, localities and enterprises to implement signed agreements; maintain consultation, coordination and mutual support at multilateral cooperation mechanisms, regional and global parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), thus making positive contributions to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese NA Chairman suggested the Australian Parliament continue assisting and creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Australia to stabilise their lives, well integrate into the host society and serve as bridges for the ties between the two countries.

On the occasion, Hue invited Lines and Dick to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Concluding the talks, the leaders signed a cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese NA and the Australian Parliament with new and wide-ranging cooperation contents.

NA Chairman meets with Australian Prime Minister

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his delight at visiting Australia for the first time in his capacity as the top Vietnamese legislator during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on November 30.

Chairman Hue congratulated the important achievements that Albanese's Government has made over the past six months, especially in economic development, social security and climate change response, affirming Australia's reputation and role in the international arena.

For his part, Albanese emphasised that the official visit to Australia by Chairman Hue and the high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese NA is the first high-level visit between the two countries since they fully reopened their borders. It is of great significance in the context of the two countries preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year, he said.

He appreciated the practical results of his recent meetings with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic  Leaders’ Meeting and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits, respectively.

Regarding bilateral relations, the two leaders expressed their pleasure that the Vietnam-Australia relationship continues to develop strongly in all aspects, especially in the pillars outlined in the Action Programme to realise the Strategic Partnership for the 2020 -2023 period. The two sides agreed that ample room remained for bilateral cooperation in the fields of security-defence, education-training, labour, agriculture and tourism.

They pledged to study to expand collaboration to new fields such as energy, climate change, green growth and digital economy, contributing to creating more motivation for strong and comprehensive development of the bilateral ties.

The Australian PM agreed with the proposal of NA Chairman Hue on creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural workers to work in the country, while encouraging more Australian citizens to travel and Australian enterprises to invest in the Southeast Asian country.

Hue thanked the Australian Government for supporting Vietnamese citizens, especially during the pandemic, and expressed his wish that it would continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to contribute to the development of Australia and the relationship between the two countries.

The two leaders discussed international issues and reiterated their commitment to ASEAN's centrality and a peaceful, prosperous and stable region in which sovereignty is respected. They reaffirmed that disputes, including those in the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea), should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

They also reiterated their commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight as well as building a efficient and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea in line with international law, particularly UNCLOS 1982.

On the basis of important achievements made in bilateral relations, the two leaders agreed to support the elevation of the two countries' relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership at an appropriate time.

Top Vietnamese legislator meets with Australian Governor-General

Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue met with Governor-General of Australia David Hurley in Canberra on November 30 as part of his ongoing official visit to the nation.
At the meeting, Hue expressed his wish for Hurley’s further support for Vietnam-Australia relations.

He hoped the Governor-General and the Australian Government will continue assisting Vietnamese expatriates in their integration process, preservation of cultural identity, and contribution to the relationship between the two countries.

Hue congratulated Australia on its important achievements under the leadership of the Governor-General, especially the successful federal elections in May 2022, and the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic and complete opening of its doors.

The top legislator took the occasion to convey President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to the Australian leader to pay an official visit to Vietnam in 2023 when the two nations celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Believing that Hue’s visit will make positive contributions to fostering the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership and the relationship between the legislative bodies, Hurley said he wishes to visit Vietnam again.

The Governor-General said with increasing delegation exchanges at all levels, the Australia-Vietnam bilateral ties are expanding and this is a favourable time for the two countries to upgrade their relations to a new height.

Both host and guest expressed their delight at the growing strategic partnership and agreed to coordinate in organising celebrations for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, particularly in delegation, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.

NA Chairman hopes for enhanced ties with Australia

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his hope for enhanced ties via the Party, State, Parliament channels and people-to-people exchanges while receiving Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles in Canberra on November 30.

Hue, who is paying an official visit to Australia from November 30 to December 3, told the Australian leader that the relationsip between the two countries are growing in all aspects, including national defence and security.

He hailed Australia for assisting Vietnam to join United Nations peacekeeping missions, specifically providing language training for military personnel and helping Vietnam deploy a level 2 field hospital in South Sudan.

On this occasion, the NA Chairman thanked the Australian Department of Defence for offering timely donation of medical supplies to the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence for COVID-19 prevention and control.

Marles, who is also a member of the Australian Parliament and Deputy Leader of the Australian Labour Party, agreed to continue intensifying bilateral defence-security cooperation, affirming that Australia will continue with its support in the training of military officers, peacekeeping missions and sending naval ships to visit Vietnam.

He also agreed to early establish the mechanism of ministerial-level defence consultation dialogue, update the Joint Vision Statement promoting defence cooperation signed in 2018, and consider expanding collaboration in promising fields such as defence industry, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, transnational crime prevention, cyber security, and increase the sharing of information on issues related to national security and the interests of the two countries.

The two sides consented to strengthen cooperation at multilateral mechanisms, including the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM ); settle disputes in the East Sea via peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and ensure security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

Receiving Senator Don Farrell, Special Minister of State and Minister for Trade and Tourism, on the same day, Hue suggested the two sides discuss and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of mechanisms on a ministerial-level dialogue on trade and another on energy and mining.

As there remains ample room to boost bilateral economic, trade and investment ties, Hue proposed the two countries continue create favourable conditions for enterprises and investors and informed that during his visit, economic and education cooperation forums will be held.

He also suggested Australia pay attention to implementing the 2021-2025 Action Plan of the Vietnam-Australia Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) and actively assist Vietnam in energy transition and ensuring energy security.

Farrell, for his part, expressed his wish that the two countries will hold a ministerial-level dialogue on trade next year on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties to further promote economic-trade-investment ties.

Australia is striving to become a renewable and clean energy powerhouse and will continue cooperating with Vietnam in this field, he said.

In the first nine months of this year, two-way trade soared by over 30% annually to 12 billion USD, making Australia the seventh largest trade partner of Vietnam for the first time. At present, Vietnam is Australia's tenth largest trade partner. The bilateral trade value for the whole year is estimated at 15 billion USD. VNA