Vietnam, Australia enhance strategic partnership

(VOVWORLD) - Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove and his wife are on a 4-day State visit to Vietnam. The visit takes place with the two countries celebrating the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. Leaders of the two countries will discuss an orientation for strengthening bilateral ties in politics, national defense, security, economics, education, and culture.
Vietnam, Australia enhance strategic partnership - ảnh 1

Australia highly appreciates Vietnam’s role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and considers Vietnam as its key partner in ASEAN. During Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Australia in March, the two countries raised their relationship to a strategic partnership.

Effective, practical cooperation

Vietnam and Australia have cooperated effectively through the exchange of delegations. Bilateral cooperative mechanisms have been implemented, including  a foreign affairs-defense strategic dialogue at the deputy minister level, a human rights dialogue, and a high-level consultation on development assistance.

The two countries have worked closely in crimes fighting, immigration management, illegal migration prevention, information and experience sharing, and English training. Through the Vietnam-Australia Joint Transnational Crime Center in Ho Chi Minh city, the countries regularly exchange information on terrorism, human trafficking, and drug crimes.

Vietnam and Australia have deepened their economic and trade relations. Australia is the 8th biggest trade partner of Vietnam, while Vietnam ranks 15th among Australia’s trade partners. Two-way trade has been growing more than 7 percent a year, reaching nearly 6.5 billion USD in 2017, after a 22.2 percent rise.

Vietnam’s exports to Australia, mainly seafood, earn more than 520 million USD annually. Australia has opened its market to litchi, mango, and dragon fruit from Vietnam.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) is an important part of the relationship. Australia is one of the biggest providers of non-refundable ODA for Vietnam. It plans to provide an additional 64 million USD in ODA to Vietnam this year for economic reform, capacity building, gender equality, and livelihood improvement.

Australia offers Vietnamese students numerous scholarships every year. Approximately 30,000 Vietnamese students and postgraduates are currently studying in Australia. Universities in the two countries have 18 cooperative programs.

About 300,000 Vietnamese live in Australia, the 5th biggest foreign community in Australia. Last year, 370,000 Australian tourists came to Vietnam, making Australia Vietnam’s 7th largest tourist market.

The two countries have coordinated closely at international forums like ASEAN, the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, and the United Nations (UN). Vietnam supports Australia’s bid to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council in the 2018-2020 term. Australia is backing Vietnam’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure and on the Universal Postal Union Council in the 2017-2021 term. Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove’s visit to Vietnam is expected to create new momentum for the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership.