Vietnam Bolsters Substantial Ties with Australia and New Zealand

2:31:42 PM | 3/19/2024

Following their participation in the Special Summit commemorating 50 years of ASEAN-Australia relations, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse and the Vietnamese high-ranking delegation embarked on official visits to Australia and New Zealand. These two countries hold strategic importance for Vietnam in the South Pacific.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese exchange the joint statement on the elevation of Vietnam-Australia relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership

The visit serves to strengthen political trust, deepen multifaceted cooperation, and drive the Vietnam-Australia and Vietnam-New Zealand relations to be more substantial and effective across various fields. These include politics, diplomacy, security, defense, economics, trade, investment, development assistance, education, culture, tourism and labor.

Upgrading the Vietnam-Australia relationship to comprehensive strategic partnership

The most prominent highlight of the visit to Australia was the joint announcement by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of the elevation of Vietnam-Australia relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The two leaders outlined six key directions for their enhanced partnership. These include: Enhancing political trust, elevating diplomacy, and strategizing more effectively; Boosting economic, trade and investment cooperation to be more inclusive, substantive, and effective, leveraging the potential of the two highly complementary economies; Intensifying cooperation in science and technology, fostering innovation, digital transformation and green transition; Deepening cultural cooperation, education and training, environmental initiatives, and responses to climate change; Encouraging more open and sincere people-to-people exchanges and connections between generations, and; Enhancing understanding, sympathy, and sharing in security and defense cooperation.

The official visit to Australia by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh occurred against the backdrop of over half a century of diplomatic relations between the two nations. This period has witnessed significant advancements and yielded comprehensive outcomes in the bilateral ties.

The political trust between the two nations has escalated, reaching an unprecedented peak. Regular exchanges of high-level delegations have been maintained, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooperation in the realms of security and defense has been fruitful.

In 2023, the bilateral trade turnover touched the mark of US$13.8 billion. As of now, Australia stands as Vietnam’s 7th largest trading partner, while Vietnam is Australia’s 10th largest partner.

In terms of investment, Australia has over 600 active investment projects in Vietnam, with a total capital exceeding US$2 billion, ranking 20th among 143 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Conversely, Vietnam has 92 investment projects in Australia, with a total capital of US$552.7 million, ranking 11th among 80 countries and territories investing in Australia.

Australia is one of the largest bilateral partners providing non-refundable Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, including numerous scholarships for long-term and short-term programs. The cooperation extends to tourism, labor and localities of the two countries, and is witnessing robust development.

The Vietnamese community in Australia, comprising approximately 350,000 individuals, plays a crucial role in fostering the relationship between the two countries. Their contributions are significant and have been instrumental in strengthening the bilateral ties.

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and New Zealander Minister of Trade Todd McClay ink an agreement on economic and trade cooperation in Wellington, New Zealand, March 11

Strengthening economic and educational cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand

During his visit to New Zealand, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh engaged in comprehensive, distinctive and highly productive discussions with Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. The two leaders concurred on deepening cooperation across various sectors.

Both parties concurred on enhancing trade promotion activities with the aim of achieving a bilateral trade turnover of US$2 billion within this year. They also agreed to explore measures to increase two-way investment to US$500 million by 2030, and demonstrated a shared commitment to contributing to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

As per the latest statistics, Vietnam ranks as New Zealand’s 14th largest trading partner. The bilateral trade turnover in 2023 amounted to US$1.3 billion. In terms of investment, New Zealand has a portfolio of 52 investment projects in Vietnam, with a total capital of US$208.35 million, placing it 39th among 143 countries and territories with foreign direct investment in Vietnam.

During this occasion, ministries and departments from both nations endorsed three cooperation agreements in the spheres of education, economics, trade and finance. Additionally, Vietnamese universities and the two countries entered into 13 cooperative agreements. These agreements serve as the foundation and premise for the respective ministries and departments to actualize effective cooperation, thereby contributing to the stable and sustainable development of the Vietnam-New Zealand Strategic Partnership.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh notably participated in a discussion with leading businesses from New Zealand and globally across various sectors. The dialogue aimed to explore the potential and possibilities for investment cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand. New Zealand businesses expressed keen interest in Vietnam’s policies to attract investment, particularly in infrastructure development. They also showed interest in potential cooperation in diverse fields such as education, training, science and technology, food import, training and provision of nurses for elderly care, climate change mitigation, green transportation, carbon emission reduction, energy transition and sustainable agricultural development with high technology.

By Quynh Anh, Vietnam Business Forum