First Vietnamese research institute launched in Australia hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)
Sydney (VNA) – The first research institute on Vietnam in Australia, the Australia-Vietnam Policy Institute (AVPI) was launched by Australia's RMIT University, Asia Society Australia, Asialink and the Australia-Vietnam Leadership Dialogue during a virtual ceremony in Melbourne on February 22.

The event was attended by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie, Vietnam's Ambassador to Australia Nguyen Tat Thanh and RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Alec Cameron, along with officials, businesses, scholars and researchers from Vietnam, Australia and many other countries.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Thanh expressed his delight at the expansion of the Vietnam-Australia relations despite COVID-19, with two-way trade rising 50 percent in 2021, making Australia the 10th largest trade partner of Vietnam.

The Prime Ministers of the two countries announced the bilateral Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy in November 2021, he noted, adding that during Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s visit to Vietnam last year, the two countries agreed to work towards a comprehensive strategic partnership in early February 2023 at earliest.

The diplomat said that the launch of the AVPI, the first institute for Vietnamese studies in Australia that gathers business leaders, researchers and government officials who share the interest in the ties between the two countries, is an important event in the bilateral relations.

Ambassador Thanh said that in 2022 when the two countries implement the new Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy and celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations and head to a comprehensive partnership, there are high expectations for AVPI's contributions.

He welcomed targets and action programmes set by the AVPI, and pledged to work hard to support the institute's activities.

The diplomat also expressed hope that the AVPI will organise activities to enhance the awareness of people in both countries on the economic and strategic significance of Australia to Vietnam and vice versa, thus increasing mutual understanding in each country's history and the current situation, and helping businesses of both sides to optimise opportunities in each other’s market.

For his part, Minister Tehan reaffirmed that Australia values the relationship with Vietnam as a key partnership amid the changing situation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia hopes to promote the ties in the future to benefit people in both countries as well as the Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific regions as a whole.

Supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the AVPI will act as a dedicated knowledge portal and a collaborative platform to deepen the strategic relationship between Australia and Vietnam./.