Vietnam and Australia have issued a joint statement on lifting bilateral to the next level during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s official visit to Australia.

The following is the full text of the joint statement:

“Following their meeting in Canberra today, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia underscored the strength and breadth of Vietnam -Australia ties and agreed to lift the relationship to a new level. They agreed to deepen and intensify the existing Comprehensive Partnership, reflecting the increasingly strategic nature of the bilateral relationship.

“Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made an official visit to Australia from March 16-18, 2015 as a guest of the Australian Government. He was accompanied by a delegation of Ministers, Vice Ministers and business representatives. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met a range of Australian political, business and community leaders during his visit.

“During their talks, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Prime Minister Tony Abbott covered a wide range of high priority issues, including trade, investment, education, development assistance, defence, the South China Sea (which Vietnam calls the East Sea), and their shared commitment to strengthening the strategic and security mandate of the East Asia Summit.

“The Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of the Declaration on Enhancing the Australia – Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, which sets out a high-level strategic agenda to guide the relationship in coming years. The Declaration covers regional and international cooperation, trade and investment, industry development, development assistance, defence, law enforcement and security.

“The two Foreign Ministers will sign a revised Plan of Action later in 2015, which will outline the practical steps towards our new and refocused priority areas of cooperation.

“A suite of memorandums of understanding were also signed during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit on unexploded ordnance removal, peacekeeping, a new working holiday maker visa arrangement and preventing human trafficking.

“The two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of strong ties at the political level, foreshadowing a regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries. In this spirit, the Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr Robb, will lead a trade mission to Vietnam in the second half of 2015 to promote further the wide range of trade and investment opportunities.

“Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung and Prime Minister Tony Abbott agreed to reach a prompt conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, noting these agreements would help to drive higher growth. Australia stands ready to support Vietnam’s efforts to host Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2017.

“The two Prime Ministers called on all parties to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), exercise restraint and refrain from actions that could increase tensions in the region, including the use of coercion or force to unilaterally alter the status quo. Prime Minister Abbott and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed on the urgent need to progress a code of conduct for the South China Sea (COC).

“Reflecting the enormous commercial potential in the bilateral relationship, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung participated in a high-level business roundtable in Sydney with senior Australian and Vietnamese business leaders. Underscoring the growing people-to-people links between Australia and Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Tan Dung met with Australian students planning to live, work and study in Vietnam under the New Colombo Plan.

“Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also planted a tree at the National Arboretum in Canberra. The species, Acacia Implexa, was developed by Australian and Vietnamese scientists.

“In Canberra, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Leader of the Opposition. In Sydney, Mr Nguyen Tan Dung met the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Governor of New South Wales.

“Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung extended to Prime Minister Tony Abbott an invitation to visit Vietnam, which he accepted with pleasure.”/.-VNA