Vietnam & Australia establish Strategic Partnership, by Long Van, Vietnam Economic Times, 15 March, 2018.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull signed a joint statement on the establishment of the Vietnam-Australia Strategic Partnership following talks in Canberra on March 15, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

Prime Minister Phuc is in Australia for an official visit and to attend the ASEAN-Australia Summit between March 14 and 18 at the invitation of Prime Minister Turnbull…

The two Prime Ministers expressed pleasure at the growth of two-way trade in recent years, which reached nearly $6.5 billion in 2017, up 7 per cent against 2016. Australia is now Vietnam’s eighth-largest trading partner while Vietnam is Australia’s 15th largest.

Both sides agreed to create maximum conditions for the intensive and comprehensive development of bilateral economic ties, increasing economic interests in bilateral relations on the basis of the complementary nature of the two economies.

Prime Minister Turnbull affirmed that Australia always welcomes and supports the import of qualified Vietnamese tropical fruit and fresh agricultural products and encourages close cooperation between the two countries’ authorized offices, associations and businesses in increasing product quality and accelerating import procedures, first of all for fresh Vietnamese shrimp and dragon fruit and later for other fruit such as longan, rambutan and star apple.

Both host and guest stressed the need to expand investment in each other’s fields of strength. Prime Minister Phuc asked Australia to encourage its businesses to invest in Vietnam in energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, the knowledge-based economy, and science and technology.

He spoke highly of Australia’s official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, notably the Cao Lanh Bridge project, which will be opened this year to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

He asked that Australia continue providing ODA, focusing on infrastructure, agriculture, rural development, climate change, high-quality human resources development, and e-government.

The two sides emphasized closer connectivity between the two peoples through education cooperation, cultural exchanges, and tourism development, which serve as a firm foundation for the bilateral Strategic Partnership at present and in the future.

They underlined the importance of education collaboration, with Australia pledging to increase the number of scholarships and to support Vietnam in official training and vocational training. They also agreed to boost links between their universities and training establishments.

The two expressed their delight at the increasing number of Vietnamese students in Australia. There are now some 30,000 Vietnamese students in the country, who have contributed to improving the quality of human resources and Vietnam’s socioeconomic development, together with 60,000 alumni.

The Australian leader said he has been impressed by bilateral tourism growth, with nearly 500,000 Australians visiting Vietnam in 2017. He appreciated Vietnam’s special policies on visas for Australian citizens.

The two agreed to encourage the opening of more direct air routes between the two countries’ major cities and to participate in the Vietnam-Australia Work and Holiday program.

Australia pledged to maintain its assistance to Vietnam in high-tech and organic agriculture, in the spirit of the Agricultural Partnership, and to support the implementation of the Vietnam-Australia Renovation Partnership Program…

 

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