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Prime Minister meets with Australian Governor-General

Prime Minister meets with Australian Governor-General

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh welcomed the first State visit to Vietnam by Australian Governor-General David Hurley, which is also the first trip by a senior leader of Australia after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at their meeting in Hanoi on April 4.

Highlighting the significance of the visit at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic ties, PM Chinh congratulated Australia on its impressive achievements in economic recovery and development in the post-COVID-19 period, positively improving social security for people and carrying out important international commitments, including in response to climate change.

Governor-General Hurley spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements in the fight against COVID-19, economic recovery and development with a GDP growth rate of over 8% last year, the highest level in the past 10 years.

PM Chinh said the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership is growing strongly, with two-way trade rising by nearly 27% to roughly 15.7 billion USD last year, making Australia the 7th largest trade partner of Vietnam and Vietnam the 10th biggest trade partner of Australia.

He suggested Australia create more favourable conditions for Vietnam’s agro-aquatic products to enter the country to achieve more balanced trade between the two nations.

Vietnam welcomes Australian firms and major investment funds to invest in Vietnam in areas such as renewable energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance-banking, education, hi-tech agriculture, digital transformation, mining, aviation, tourism, among others, he said, proposing Australia offer support to Vietnamese enterprises operating in mining, agriculture, aviation and tourism.

Regarding national defence-security cooperation, PM Chinh proposed Australia continue assisting Vietnam in training, improving the capacity and English skills, and in the fight against transnational, terrorism, economic, drug and cyber crimes.

Governor-General Hurley, for his part, spoke highly of the PM’s proposals, adding that the two economies are highly supplementary to each other. Australia is in the process of expanding and diversifying its trade partners, with a priority given to countries in the region, he said.

Both sides need to propel cooperation in other areas such as education, tourism, agriculture, people-to-people exchange, he recommended.

As direct flights between the two nations have been resumed with 17 flights per week, they agreed to share experience in tourism development, particularly community, green, study and health tourism.

The Governor-General hailed the establishment of the Vietnam-Australia Centre at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, as well as Vietnam's creating favourable conditions for RMIT University to expand its operations in Vietnam.

About new cooperation areas such as climate change response and energy transition, he affirmed that Australia will help Vietnam achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2050 and partner with Vietnam and Laos to organise the ASEAN-Australia High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change and Energy Transition.

On regional and global issues, both host and guest highly evaluated the two countries' coordination and mutual support at regional and global forums, especially at the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and ASEAN.

They were delighted at the development of the Australia-ASEAN relationship, including the upgrade of the ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in October 2021 and the plan to hold a special summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Australia relations in 2024.

Australia supports ASEAN's stance on the East Sea issue, Governor-General Hurley affirmed, agreeing that all parties need to make greater efforts to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; respect international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), seriously abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and build an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law.

On this occasion, PM Chinh asked the Governor-General to convey his invitation to the Australian PM to visit Vietnam at a convenient time this year./.