PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull. (Source: VNA)

 Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visits to New Zealand and Australia as well as his attendance in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit from March 12-18 have created milestones, lifting relations between Vietnam and the two countries to a new height, said a senior diplomat.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung told the press after the trips that PM Phuc and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull signed a joint statement on the establishment of strategic partnership.

With the formation of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership, Vietnam has gradually completed cooperation frameworks with important partners in all continents, helping the country affirm its role and position in the region and the world at large.  

Meanwhile, PM Phuc’s New Zealand visit helped strengthen the bilateral comprehensive partnership and chart a specific roadmap towards a strategic partnership in the near future, Dung said.

Up to 12 cooperation documents were signed by Vietnamese and New Zealand ministries, agencies, localities, businesses and universities while 24 others were inked in Australia during the PM’s visits, creating more legal frameworks for collaboration in economy-trade, defence, education-training, agriculture and science-technology between Vietnam and the two countries, he noted.

The visits have also laid an important foundation to unleash cooperation potential and promote economic connectivity between Vietnam and the two countries, bringing practical opportunities and interests to their localities and businesses, the deputy minister said.

Dung stressed that commitments made by Australia and New Zealand to opening their doors for Vietnamese farm produce and transferring technologies in spearhead agricultural sectors to Vietnam are expected to offer long-term benefits to Vietnamese farmers and contribute to the country’s implementation of sustainable development goals.

The official noted with pleasure the successful organisation of the Vietnam-New Zealand Business Forum and the Vietnam-Australia Business Forum, with four deals signed in New Zealand and 17 others inked in Australia, serving as platforms for their ministries, sectors and enterprises to seek cooperation opportunities in the fields of energy, infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, transport, farm produce trading, supporting industries and services.

“It can be said that PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visits have blown a new breath of air into economic cooperation between Vietnam and the two nations,” Dung said.

At the same time, the visits have created a breakthrough in people-to-people exchanges through special education, tourism and labour links as well as the overseas Vietnamese communities in the two countries, he added.

Asked about factors contributing to the success of the visits, Dung said they are Vietnam’s increasing position and strength, and PM Phuc’s role in affirming the Vietnamese Government’s resolve to build a constructive, upright and action-oriented Government.

Moreover, Vietnam and the two countries have demand for bilateral cooperation, and share determination and vision to ensure peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, he said, adding that another factor is the thorough preparations for the visits by Vietnam and New Zealand as well as Australia.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse were welcomed by NZ PM Jacinda Ardern. (Source: VNA)

Regarding Vietnam’s contributions to the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, which took place in Sydney from March 16-18, Dung said Vietnam closely coordinated with Australia and other ASEAN member countries to set forth the event’s agenda.

In his keynote speech delivered at the summit, PM Phuc proposed orientations for the ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership, prioritising the enhancement of cooperation in economic affairs and ensuring regional peace and security.

As one of the four ASEAN leaders invited to address the summit’s retreat, PM Phuc said law respect should be the foundation to build trust in the region and a comprehensive approach should be applied in maritime cooperation.

Vietnam’s active and proactive participation in the summit has been recognised by Australia and other ASEAN nations, Dung stressed.-VNA