PM Anthony Albanese: Vietnam is at the Center of Australia’s Strategic Relationship with Southeast Asia

The statement was made by Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in the meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh during Albanese’s official visit to the Southeast Asia country.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) (Photo: Vietnamplus).
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) (Photo: Vietnamplus).

According to Vietnam’s PM Pham Minh Chinh in the meeting with Albanese on June 4, this is an important event that took place in the year that Vietnam and Australia celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations.

Speaking at the meeting, Chinh reaffirmed that Vietnam wishes to strengthen its friendship and cooperation with Australia.

In response, PM Anthony Albanese congratulated Vietnam on its important achievements in socio-economic recovery and development. After 50 years, Vietnam is now one of the 40 largest economies in the world and with significant role in the global market.

The Australian leader emphasized the importance of strategic partnership between the two countries.

“Australia identifies Vietnam as the center in the process of building Australia’s relationship strategy for Southeast Asia,” said Albanese.

The two leaders stressed that many delegation exchanges and high-level contacts over the past few years shows the bilateral ties is going from strength to strength. Also, the Action Program to implement the Strategic Partnership for the period 2020-2023 has achieved many specific results.

One of the hightlights in the cooperation is trade sector with early US $16 billion USD in two-way turnoverr of 2022, up 30% compared to 2021. The two countries have become one of the top 10 trading partners of each other.

Also, security and defense cooperation is increasingly active and effectiv, especially in training and supporting United Natins (UN) peacekeeping operations, combating transnational crimes and cybercrimes.

The two leaders agreed that there were many positive results achieved in agriculture, education-training, labor and people-to-people exchange cooperation.

New level of bilateral relations in near future

At the meeting, the two sides agreed to strengthen the exchange of delegations and high-level contacts, including the Pary, National Assembly and Government channels, and also to actively promotie people-to-people exchanges.

With the Action Program entering the new phase, the two countries will continue to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation. The results will effect on the Implementation Plan of the Strategy for Enhancing Economic Cooperation (EEES) between the two countries for the period of 2021-2025

Regarding connection between the two economies as well as cooperation in defense, security, justice and other important fields, the two sides agreed to promote the upgrading of relations to a new level in the near future.

“Vietnam partners will create favorable conditions for Australian businesses, especially in green economu transformation, digital transformation and so on. I ask for Australia to also create favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to invest in Australia in the fields of agriculture, e-commerce, aviation and tourism,” said Chinh.

He added that Vietnam highly appreciated Australia’s increase of 2.5% ODA to the country in the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Photo: Vietnamplus).
Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Photo: Vietnamplus).

In response, Albanese affirmed Australia’s desire to continue expanding security and defense cooperation with Vietnam. He agreed to promote two-way investment cooperation; continue to increase scholarships for Vietnamese students. Australia will also review the Aviation Agreement (1995) to increase the number of flights between the two countries.

In particular, Albanese announced a support of AUD 105 million (close to US $65 million) for Vietnam for infrastructure cooperation, climate change response and energy transition.

The two sides agreed to continue to strengthen cooperation and close coordination at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, ASEAN, and APEC.

Albanese affirmed that Australia attaches great importance to the Australia-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and always supports the central role of ASEAN.

“Australia will put Vietnam at the center of the Southeast Asian Economic Strategy to 2040 that Australia is building; as well as will continue to promote cooperation in the Mekong sub-region,” said the Australian leader.

During this visit, Albanese witnesses the exchanges of 4 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries, including university scholarship opportunities and aviational direct routes.