​PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (sixth, right, front) poses for a group photo during his visit to the Australian National University. (Source: VNA)

 Canberra (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited the Australian National University (ANU), one of the world’s top ten research universities, right after his arrival in Canberra on March 14 (local time).

Talking with the ANU leaders, lecturers and students, the PM highlighted Vietnam’s dynamic economy, saying the country has set up trade ties with over 230 countries and territories worldwide and signed 12 free trade agreements (FTAs).

Vietnam has also joined many international organisations such as the UN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), he said.

The leader highly valued Australia’s support for and cooperation with Vietnam, especially in education, high-tech agriculture and climate change response, adding that the two countries have also cooperated in many multilateral forums and engaged in many regional trade and investment agreements, with the latest being the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Vietnam and Australia have also shared viewpoints on issues on keeping peace and ensuring regional security, including the East Sea matter, PM Phuc said.

He also informed the ANU leaders, lecturers and students that during his ongoing visit to Australia, the two sides will officially elevate their relationship to a strategic partnership.

Responding to ANU Chancellor Gareth Evans’s question regarding Vietnam’s business environment, the PM said the Vietnamese Government has continuously improved the domestic business environment, which has been recognised by prestigious organisations like the WB and the World Economic Forum.

Mentioning prospects for educational cooperation between Vietnam and Australia, he expressed his hope that the ANU will expand its connection with Vietnamese educational facilities to exchange experience and students.

“We are ready to create the best conditions for the ANU and other universities of Australia to step up educational collaboration with Vietnam,” he stressed.

He noted that the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training is scheduled to sign a cooperation agreement with the Australian Department of Education and Training for 2018-2023.

Following the talk, PM Phuc had a roundtable with leaders of the ANU, during which he emphasised the fruitful relationship between Vietnam and Australia, particularly in education and training.

He noted that about 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in Australia, the highest number of Vietnamese students in a foreign country, saying the figure reflects the confidence of Vietnamese students and their parents in Australian universities.

Besides, up to 60,000 Vietnamese graduates from Australian educational facilities have returned home to serve the nation, the leader added.

PM Phuc said apart from cooperation in trade, investment and other areas, the affiliation in education-training should be intensified after the two countries elevate their relationship to a strategic partnership.

Later the same day, PM Phuc met with the Vietnamese Embassy’s staff and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Australia.

 
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with the Vietnamese Embassy's staff and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Australia. (Source: VNA)
The leader asked the embassy and the overseas Vietnamese to contribute more to enhancing trade ties between Vietnam and Australia, surpassing the present figure of 7 billion USD.

The Party and State always consider the Vietnamese community abroad an integral part of the nation, he said, noting his hope that the OVs will unite and look towards the homeland.

The 40-member club of Vietnamese scientists in Canberra also made debut on this occasion.-VNA