|My Thuan bridge linking Tien river on 1A Highway, linking Tien Giang and Vinh Long province (Photo: An Hieu/ VNA)
The report, entitled “Engaging a proactive Vietnam: A pragmatic economic agenda for Australia”, says the size of Vietnam’s economy and its effective response to COVID-19 make it one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic nations. Its stable political environment, its well-trained and still relatively cheap labor force, and its favorable foreign investment policies make Vietnam a preferred option. According to the report, Vietnam’s international role has been increasingly active and consequential within the ASEAN framework and in regional and global forums.
Regarding Australia-Vietnam relations, the report said Australia is a valued partner of Vietnam. Most importantly, there has been a recognition by the two countries of mutual strategic importance and their ties were elevated to a strategic partnership in 2018.
Australia has an opportunity to demonstrate its value as a bilateral partner by re-prioritising its economic engagement strategy to respond to Vietnam’s current challenges in energy, supply chains, and food security, and by boosting cooperation in digital transformation and education.