Foreign Minister co-chairs fourth meeting with Australian counterpart hinh anh 1At the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Sydney (VNA) – Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and her Australian counterpart Penny Wong co-chaired the fourth Vietnam-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Canberra on September 12.

They affirmed determination to strengthen bilateral strategic partnership on the back of long-standing friendship and cooperation.

The two ministers shared the view that bilateral ties have been growing in various areas. Trade and investment have become a spotlight in bilateral ties with two-way trade hitting 9.6 billion USD in seven months of this year, up nearly 40% annually. Progress has been seen in anti-crimes, culture, education, tourism and labour.

They discussed ways to further deepen strategic partnership, including holding visits at all levels and celebrations for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, bolstering bilateral economic-trade-investment ties.

Son suggested Australia expand the supply of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam in new fields of demand, make it easier for Vietnam’s agro-fisheries to enter Australia, firstly passion fruit, pomelo and fresh shrimp.

Wong promised to offer all possible support to Vietnamese firms to do business in Australia as well as step up mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of agriculture, clean energy and ODA.

About labour cooperation, they will revise the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Visa programme to suit new situation.

On the occasion, Son suggested Australia increase quota for Vietnamese citizens to Australia under the Working Holiday Visa programme, as well as create conditions for the Vietnamese community in Australia to contribute to bilateral ties.

Both sides mulled ways to consolidate ties in traditional fields such as national defence-security, education-training and tourism. They vowed to reinforce coordination in new fields like climate change response, digital transformation, digital economy, energy and food security, and workforce training.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, they consented to continue offering mutual support at multilateral organisations and forums, especially at ASEAN and the United Nations.

Wong affirmed that Australia treasures comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN and ASEAN’s central role in the region. She pledged to boost collaboration for the sub-Mekong region’s sustainable development within the framework of the Mekong-Australia Partnership.

Both ministers also agreed to intensify cooperation at sea to maintain peace and stability in the region and the East Sea./.