Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Penny Wong was received by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi today [August 22], marking her second visit to Vietnam after she took office in May 2022.
Last year, Penny Wong took a visit to Vietnam just one month after taking office.
|Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Penny Wong was received by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on August 22. Photos: Tuan Anh/Baoquocte|
Wong’s four-day trip follows recent visits to Vietnam by Australian Governor-General David Hurley in April, Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell in April, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in June.
Calling Vietnam is “a key ASEAN partner”, Wong said that her trip demonstrates a clear statement of the Albanese Government’s priorities and an opportunity to further build on “our work to shape the region we want.”
During her stay in Vietnam, Wong is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and other senior leaders to discuss a range of shared interests, including our economic and security ties.
|Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Bui Thanh Son held the 5th annual Australia-Vietnam Foreign Ministers’ Meeting|
Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Bui Thanh Son held the 5th annual Australia-Vietnam Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, where they discussed regional priorities and ways to expand cooperation, including on climate change, trade and investment, education, and digital delivery of government services.
At the meeting, the two ministers also discussed ways to implement the Strategic Partnership which was upgraded in 2018 and the posibility of lifting the relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
They reviewed the 50 years of relationship during which political trust has been reinforced while defense-security ties have been strengthened, mostly in peacekeeping mission.
Australian top diplomat said Australia and Vietnam marked 50 years of diplomatic relations, underscoring the “deep friendship" and "strategic trust” between the two countries.
In terms of economic ties, the two-way trade reached US$16 billion in 2022, making Vietnam the 10th largest trade partner of Australia and Australia becomes Vietnam’s 7th largest trade partner.
New fields of cooperation would be climate response and energy transition. Accordingly, Australia has launched AUD105 million (US$68 million) credit package for Vietnam’s clean energy and infrastructure against climate change.
On this occasion, Wong will also attend the ‘Taste of Australia’s Big Barbecue’ event with Chef Luke Nguyen to showcase Australian cuisine and culture. Vietnam is Australia’s 4th largest agricultural export market and offers increasing opportunities for Australian premium food and wine producers.
Wong will visit Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s economic powerhouse and the hub of Australia’s business relationship with Vietnam. She will meet with Australians of Vietnamese heritage who are driving the economic cooperation.
|Overview of the meeting chaired by the two ministers.|
Generally, trade is the top priority for Vietnam and Australia. Over the past years, both countries have taken part in economic cooperation, including Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).
In addition to the Foreign Ministers Meeting, Vietnam and Australia currently maintain more than 20 bilateral cooperation mechanisms that are flexible, such as the yearly meeting of the two Prime Ministers and two Defense Ministers, Economic Partnership, and Local Cooperation.
The two countries are implementing the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy. Meanwhile, the Government of Australia is building the Southeast Asia Economic Strategy by 2040, with Vietnam serving as its focal point.
Australia is one of the greatest bilateral donors of non-returnable ODA to Vietnam, having provided AUD3 billion ($1.94 billion) so far. Minister Bui Thanh Son thanked the Australian government on behalf of the Vietnamese government for boosting ODA funding to AUD95.1 million ($59 million) for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
Concerning the regional issues, Wong said Australia and Vietnam share a Strategic Partnership, a commitment to ASEAN Centrality and an interest in maintaining a region which is peaceful, stable and prosperous region, where sovereignty is respected.
The two sides reaffirm the significance of upholding international law, including UNCLOS 1982, as well as maintaining peace, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight.