Vietnam, Australia Boost Bilateral Trade and Strengthen Anti-Smuggling Efforts

3:11:21 PM | 7/8/2024

Vietnam and Australia share significant common ground in combating smuggling and drug trafficking, as well as in advancing bilateral trade, said Mr. Michael Outram, Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), in a recent discussion with our reporter. He emphasized the many opportunities in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to further enhance collaboration on these issues.

Director General of General Department of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can (R) and Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) Michael Outram sign a new plan to collaborate on customs investigations and monitoring

What do you think about the current cooperation between the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Vietnam Customs?

I think the cooperation ties between the two agencies are very strong. I am very happy to work with Vietnam Customs. Given the robust development of the bilateral relationship, the leaders of the two countries signed the comprehensive strategic partnership, aiming to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including promoting trade in goods and movement of people between the two countries. I see that the two sides have many similarities in such areas as preventing smuggling and drug trafficking or the need to accelerate the trade in goods. Therefore, there is much potential for two-way cooperation and I look forward to further boosting it in the coming years.

What are the key strengths in the relationship between the Australian Border Force and Vietnam Customs, and how have these strengths contributed to achieving shared goals?

First, both agencies focus on the need to facilitate trade. Both sides recognize that the fundamental purpose of the border is to serve economic activities and economic security, which plays an important role in both economies. There is a lot of merchandise trade and movement of people between the two countries. Both sides are aware of that. We are also aware that behind those legal trade activities and behind those trade volumes are illegal goods that are smuggled and illegally transported. Both sides also have similar approaches in dealing with those issues by using information and data, identifying key issues, training and building capacity for officials and developing leadership teams. The two sides have many similarities. This is the strength of this partnership in which both sides share similar approaches to matters of concern.

What are your expectations for the collaboration between the Australian Border Force and Vietnam Customs? What plans are in place to enhance and deepen this partnership?

The two sides have agreed to formalize the mechanism of high-level bilateral meetings between my successor and the head of Vietnam Customs in the future. There will be action plans and work plans between such bilateral meetings. This means that the two sides are committed to working together on such issues as identifying key matters, sharing information, building staff and developing capacity. In addition to bilateral cooperation, the two sides will continue to cooperate within the multilateral frameworks of the WCO, the Asia-Pacific or ASEAN, in which Australia is a dialogue partner.

Thank you very much!

By Le Hien , Vietnam Business Forum