Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull (Source: VNA)

 Da Nang (VNA) – Vietnam and Australia have agreed to soon upgrade their relationship to a strategic partnership on the basis of their enhanced comprehensive partnership and huge potential for cooperation. 

The consensus was reached during the talks between Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull within the framework of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang on November 10.

The PMs assigned the foreign ministries of Vietnam and Australia to continue working on the plan so that the two countries’ leaders can sign a document on the strategic partnership as soon as possible.

They expressed their delight at the two-way trade turnover which jumped from 32.3 million USD in 1990 to 5.2 billion USD in 2016, making Australia Vietnam’s seventh largest trade partner.

The leaders also commented on strides made in cooperation in national defence-security, education-training, labour, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

PM Phuc called on Australia to expand its investment and business activities in such areas as manufacturing, energy, mining, infrastructure, high-tech and food processing, while creating the best possible conditions for Vietnamese investors in the country.
He used the occasion to appeal to Australia to continue its provision of official development assistance (ODA) and scholarships to Vietnam.

Host and guest also compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, and agreed to continue the close coordination between the two countries at multi-lateral forums, especially those led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in order to promote dialogues and cooperation, and maintain peace, stability and order in the region in line with law.

Regarding the East Sea, they stressed the importance of protecting peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the region, settling disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon reaching a legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The same day, PM Phuc met with representatives of leading Australian businesses specialising in health care, production, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, aviation and high-quality agricultural product processing. The Australian businesspeople are in Da Nang to attend the APEC CEO Summit 2017.

He applauded the role played by the firms in strengthening economic, trade and investment links between Vietnam and Australia.

The Vietnamese Government creates optimal conditions for foreign businesses to operate in Vietnam in accordance with local laws and global standards and regulations, the leader affirmed.

He said Vietnamese and Australian leaders are resolved to raise the bilateral trade value to 10 billion USD in the time ahead, calling on Australian enterprises to seek more long-term investment opportunities in Vietnam. - VNA