|Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski (Photo: Viet Nguyen/baoquocte.vn)
Vietnam and Australia established diplomatic ties on February 26, 1973. The two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the 5th anniversary of their strategic partnership this year. The two countries’ leaders are determined to upgrade their partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership.
Effective, practical development of bilateral ties
The Vietnam-Australia Strategic Partnership has grown steadily, practically, and effectively over the past years. On the political front, the leaders have regularly exchanged talks and visits to further strengthen political ties and political trust. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a phone talk with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last October. National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue paid an official visit to Australia in December. Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son visited and co-chaired the 4th Vietnam-Australia Foreign Ministerial Meeting last September. Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles visited Vietnam last November. Foreign Minister Penny Wong visited Vietnam last June.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski told VOV: “It’s very important to us. David Hurley is our Head of State. He is No 1 person in the political term in Australia. And for him to be conducting a visit to Vietnam has a lot of symbolic importance. It’s only the third time that our Head of State has visited Vietnam and of course he’s coming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. So we’re building a great program around him and he is also the first of the number of important visitors to come this year to Vietnam.”
The two countries are effectively implementing cooperation mechanisms in a flexible manner, both online and offline. The Vietnam-Australia Strategic Partnership Action Program in the 2020-2023 period has been fruitfully implemented raising bilateral trade to 16 billion USD last year, up more than 30% from the previous year.
Vietnam and Australia have enhanced defense cooperation. The Australian Royal Navy has four times helped transport Vietnam’s field hospitals to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. The two countries have worked closely in fighting human and drug trafficking, and trans-national crime.
Bilateral cooperation in education, training, agriculture, and tourism have grown steadily and shown room for further cooperation. Australia has provided Vietnam with stable ODA, helped Vietnam fight COVID-19, and expanded cooperation to climate change, digital transformation, and energy transition.
The two countries have worked closely on regional and global issues including the East Sea issue and boosted cooperation in multilateral forums including the UN, ASEAN, APEC and free trade agreements that both are members including the CPTPP and RCEP.
Bolstering cooperation to overcome difficulties
The two countries have great opportunities and potential to expand bilateral cooperation in addition to strengthening economic cohesion; deepening strategic partnership, defense, and security cooperation; building a knowledge-based partnership and reforming the Action Program to implement the Strategic Partnership in the 2020-2030 period. They are determined to work closely in agriculture, tourism, and climate change response.
Ambassador Goledzinowski said: “Since I’ve been in Vietnam, I’ve learned that Vietnam values very much what the Vietnamese leaders call strategic trust. And that’s important. I think what that means is that in a time of change and in a time of uncertainties where Australia and Vietnam will be facing many challenges, we have chosen each other as trusted friends. We decided that we will work together where we can to meet these challenges together, whether they are economic challenges, or security challenges, or environmental issues, we will work together in a way which reflects the warmth of the relationship between the two countries. The Governor General’s visit will serve to really amplify that and to consolidate the strategic trust between exist between the two countries.
With the high level of strategic trust, effective, practical coordination, and the Governor General’s State visit to Vietnam, the two countries are motivated to upgrade bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.