Australia Looks for Stronger Ties with VN Bilaterally and Multilaterally

10:57:31 AM | 6/18/2019

Australia considers Viet Nam as one of key partners in Southeast Asia and wishes to further strengthen ties with Viet Nam at both bilateral and multilateral aspects.

Ms. Marise Payne, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women of Australia made the above statement during her talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Ha Noi on Wednesday.

Minh welcomed Marise on her official visit to Viet Nam from June 12-13, saying the visit reflects the rising trust and substantial cooperation between the two countries.

The two officials spoke highly of the positive and sustainable development of the bilateral relations, especially since the two countries upgraded ties to strategic partnership in March last year.

The pair agreed to maintain the exchanges of high-level delegations and contacts in the time ahead, fruitfully promote the efficiency of 19 bilateral cooperative mechanisms, especially the annual meetings between the two foreign ministers and defense ministers, and soon convene the first ministerial-level economic partnership meeting this year.

Both sides also agreed to continue enhancing cooperation in maritime security, trans-national and drug crime combat, and prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The two foreign ministers underlined the importance of free trade and the role of multilateral trading system, particularly in the context of rising protectionism and trade tension.

They agreed to further deepen bilateral economic cooperation through effectively tapping potentials and strengths of respective countries and promoting the effectiveness of multilateral trade deals to which both sides are signatories, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Minh asked the Australian side to quicken consideration and opening of market for Vietnamese farm produce, especially longan and shrimp.

He took the occasion to extend thanks to Australia for continued official development assistance for Viet Nam, affirming the funding has been effectively used and contributed to socio-economic development in Viet Nam.

The two sides pledged to continue fostering cooperation in other key areas like education, manpower, innovation, smart agriculture, and people-to-people exchanges.

Regarding regional and international issues of common concerns, Payne congratulated Viet Nam on winning a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure with high positive votes.

She highly valued Viet Nam’s role in the region and ASEAN, voicing her strong support for ASEAN centrality in the emerging regional architecture.

Ms. Payne expressed her strong belief that Viet Nam will successfully undertake double responsibility as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and ASEAN Chair 2020.

For recent developments in the East Sea, the two foreign ministers emphasized the importance of sustaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, of settling disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and early concluding a practical, effective and comprehensive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

After the talks, the two foreign ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding on empowering women in diplomacy between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The two foreign ministers also witnessed a ceremony to present the Friendship Order of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in recognition of the center’s positive contribution to the development of agriculture and rural areas in Viet Nam.

During her two-day visit, Ms. Payne will also make a courtesy call on Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.