Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on August 24 concluded his three-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) hosts the welcome ceremony for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Hanoi on August 23|
During his stay in Vietnam, PM Morrison had talks and a working breakfast with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, met with Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, and attended a meeting with the business commuinities of both countries.
On this occasion, the Australian PM laid flowers and paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum, and visited the late President’s still house. Morrison also visited the Vietnam People’s Army’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 at the Hanoi-based Military Medical University, and the construction site of the Vietnamese Formula 1 circuit project in Hanoi.
At the meetings, the two sides expressed their pleasure at the strong, dynamic and effective development of the Vietnam-Australia relationship over the past time, saying that the two countries hold substantial potential to strengthen their ties. They spoke highly of the regular exchange of all-level delegations through all channels.
The two sides issued a joint statement between Vietnam and Australia, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to developing the bilateral ties towards a new higher level.
They recognised each other’s increasing importance, both bilaterally and as partners in the Indo-Pacific region as well as in the international community; and acknowledged that the partnership is founded on a basis of mutual respect, mutual trust, converging interests and deepening links. They agreed to increase the depth and breadth of engagement between the two countries in advance of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.
To this end, they agreed that Vietnam and Australia’s Plan of Action for the Strategic Partnership for the period of 2020-2023 will focus on three priority areas: enhancing economic engagement; deepening strategic, defence and security cooperation; and building knowledge and innovation partnerships.
Both sides agreed to develop an Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy with the aim of becoming top ten trade partners and doubling investment; and emphasised their commitment to promoting bilateral economic opportunities and regional economic integration through free trade agreements and cooperation in multilateral economic frameworks, including APEC.
In this context, they welcomed the 10th anniversary of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area, and the work underway to upgrade that Agreement; committed to work together to ensure smooth implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. They agreed on the importance of concluding negotiations on a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement this year.
Both sides will strengthen collaboration in knowledge and innovation, including between public services and establish a Vietnam – Australia Centre at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics. They committed to protecting the health of the oceans, by reducing plastic waste, sharing technologies and expertise and improving the sustainability of fishing. Both sides will encourage their respective localities to step up cooperation through the exchange of delegations at various levels and sharing of management expertise, particularly in urban planning, transport infrastructure, education and training, and innovative entrepreneurship.
Both countries remain committed to an open, inclusive, prosperous and secure region defined by respect for international law, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. They reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-led architecture, particularly the East Asia Summit.
They emphasised the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, 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 reaffirmed the need for states to resolve disputes peacefully, without the threat or use of force in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
On this occasion, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison witnessed the signing of cooperation documents and agreements between the two countries.
NA Chairwoman meets Australian Prime Minister
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) meets with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Hanoi on August 23
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on August 23 affirmed that the Vietnamese legislature always supports the strong development of ties with Australia, a partner with increasingly important stature in Asia-Pacific and the world.
During a meeting with visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Hanoi, Ngan expressed her belief that with an annual average economic growth of 2.5 - 3.5 percent, Australia will succeed in building a multicultural, modern and prosperous country, thus making positive contributions to peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
She noted that bilateral ties are growing, especially in trade and investment with a two-way trade of 7.7 billion USD last year, up 19.3 percent year-on-year. The figure for the firsthalf of this year was 3.84 billion USD.
As of June 2019, Australian investors poured 1.86 billion USD into 458 projects, ranking 20th among the 136 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
The host said the Vietnamese NA highly values the Australian parliament’s support in successfully organising recent international and regional inter-parliamentary conferences, including the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) held in January last year.
Morrison, for his part, said links between the two legislatures have become increasingly effective.
He emphasised that Australia always backs Vietnam in shouldering its role as the Chair of ASEAN and Chair of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly next year.
On the East Sea issue, host and guest affirmed the importance of the countries’ continuation of settling the disputes by peaceful means, avoiding threatening or use of force, in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On the occasion, the top Vietnamese legislator thanked the Australian government for creating favourable conditions for more than 300,000 Vietnamese living and working there. Over 30,000 Vietnamese students are now studying in Australia.
More than 380,000 Australian tourists visited Vietnam last year.
NA Chairwoman Ngan suggested that Morrison offer all possible support to Vietnamese firms in aviation.
Australian PM calls Vietnam a key strategic partner in ASEAN
Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh (R) meets with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Hanoi on August 23
Australia always attaches importance to enhancing relations with Vietnam – a key strategic partner of the country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the region, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on August 23.
The PM made the affirmation at a meeting with Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh in Hanoi as part of his ongoing visit to Vietnam at the invitation of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
PM Morrison noted with pleasure the fruitful relations between Vietnam and Australia, and congratulated the Southeast Asian nation on its achievements in national construction and development.
These attainments have helped to improve Vietnam’s role and position in the region and the world, the guest leader said, expressing his belief that the bilateral economic ties will prosper in the time ahead.
Vietnam will be one of Australia’s top 10 trade partners, and the two countries will continue to join hands in many areas like reducing marine plastic waste and combating human trafficking and cross-border crimes, he stressed.
The PM affirmed Australia’s stance of supporting Vietnam in shouldering its role as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021.
For her part, Thinh rejoiced at the development of the bilateral ties over the past more than 45 years, especially the establishment of the strategic partnership, which has created a framework for bilateral collaboration in all realms in a more pragmatic and effective manner, especially politics, diplomacy, national defence-security, trade-investment, science-technology, and education-training.
Vietnam always wishes that the bilateral ties would meet aspirations and practical interests of each country, and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, she said, adding the country also hopes to maintain the fruitful bilateral relationship, creating a firm political connectivity to promote the strategic partnership.
The Vice President used the occasion to thank the Australian Government for supporting and facilitating the community of more than 300,000 Vietnamese to stabilize their lives in the host country.
Australian PM visits F1 circuit project in Hanoi
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (third, right) visits the Vietnamese Formula 1 circuit project in Hanoi on August 23
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the construction site of the Vietnamese Formula 1 circuit project in Hanoi on August 23, voicing his belief that once taking place, the race will attract the world’s attention.
PM Morrison, who is on an official visit from August 22 to 24, also noted that the F1 race Vietnam Grand Prix, slated for April 2020, will make Vietnam, as well as Hanoi, known on the world’s sports map.
The event will attract thousands of foreign travellers and speed aficionados, which will in turn promote the development of high-end hotels and restaurants and also show the Vietnamese people’s hospitality.
The success of the F1 race in Hanoi will help affirm Vietnam’s capability of organising world-class events, along with the country’s economic growth success, he said.
The PM also expressed his delight that many Australian businesses are coordinating with the race’s organisers, adding that he believes this cooperation will be fruitful, thereby demonstrating the increasingly strong and effective relations between Australia and Vietnam.
Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of Vingroup Nguyen Viet Quang said carrying out this project, his firm has received cooperation from foreign partners, including those from Australia such as Australian Grand Prix Corporation – the organiser of the F1 race in the country, and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.
Quang believed that the success of the Vietnam Grand Prix will be one of the demonstrations of the sound friendship between the two countries.
Work on the Hanoi circuit officially kicked off on March 20 and is scheduled to be completed before the end of this year.
Vietnamese, Australian PMs visit peace-keeping hospital
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on August 23 visit the Vietnam People’s Army’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 at the Hanoi-based Military Medical University. (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on August 23 visited the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA)’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 at the Hanoi-based Military Medical University.
PM Morrison, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, highlighted the tightened national defence cooperation between Vietnam and Australia over the past 21 years.
He recalled Australia’s flying Vietnamese officers and equipment to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan on October 1, 2018.
Australia will continue to send aircraft to fly officers of Vietnam’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 1 in South Sudan back home and carry those of the Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 from Vietnam to the mission in November, he said.
Hospital No. 1, which has provided treatment for more than 1,100 patients in the African country, has been applauded by the international community for its professionalism and capacity, the Australian leader stressed.
He said the successful and result-oriented cooperation in peacekeeping operations has been demonstrated in the Vietnam-Australia Declaration on Joint Visions for Enhancing Defence Cooperation inked by the two defence ministers in 2018.
Besides, since 2011, Australia has helped Vietnam with English language teaching and shared its peacekeeping experience with the Vietnamese side, the guest said.
Australia wishes to step up defence cooperation with Vietnam, especially to assist the VPA in deploying forces to UN peacekeeping missions in the future, he said, expressing his hope that the two sides will push ahead with the defence cooperation programme across spheres, including maritime security, counter-terrorism, education and training.
The Australian PM said he is impressed by Vietnam’s efforts, commitments and thorough and effective preparations for joining UN peacekeeping operations.
For his part, PM Phuc highly valued Australia’s cooperation with and support to Vietnam in UN peacekeeping activities over the past time.
Joining UN peacekeeping operations is one of the major foreign policies and guidelines of the Party, State and Government of Vietnam – a peace-loving nation, he affirmed.
Through the engagement, Vietnam wants to prove itself as a prestigious and responsible nation to the international community, and to voice its wish to work together with other countries in ensuring global peace and security, he said.
PM Morrison told the press following the trip to the hospital that he highly values relations between Vietnam and Australia, stressing that the bilateral defence cooperation will be tightened in the future.