Vietnam thanks Australia for donating vaccine against COVID-19 hinh anh 1Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son had a phone call with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne on August 27 on the occasion of Australia’s handover of more than 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

This is the first batch of 1.5 million vaccine doses that Australia has committed to supporting Vietnam.

Stressing that Australia’s timely support will help Vietnam speed up vaccination, Minister Son affirmed that Vietnam is determined to urgently access and bring home more vaccines, medical equipment and drugs, and is ready to repurchase or borrow vaccines in advance from other countries to accelerate its domestic vaccination drive.

Australian FM Payne expressed sympathy for the complicated situation of the pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City and some provinces of Vietnam, affirming that she will make efforts to soon deliver the remaining 1.1 million vaccine doses to Vietnam.

She also pledged to urge UNICEF to use Australia’s support funding to bring more vaccines to Vietnam this year, and continue working with relevant ministries and sectors to promptly provide essential medical equipment and supplies such as ventilators, patient monitoring machines, facemasks and protective gears to support the country's fight against the pandemic.

The two ministers showed their delight at the strong development of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership in the past time and discussed measures to boost bilateral relations in the coming time. They agreed to continue maintaining and organising meetings at levels and existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms in specific fields.

They also expressed their satisfaction at the positive development of bilateral economic and trade ties, in which two-way trade increased by nearly 50 percent in the first seven months of 2021.

The two sides agreed to soon complete negotiations towards the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries and coordinate with relevant ministries and sectors to soon complete a strategy to strengthen economic cooperation between Vietnam and Australia.

They concurred to consider the recognition of each other's vaccine passports to facilitate travel and trade between the two countries.

Minister Son suggested the Australian side create favourable conditions to welcome Vietnamese students back to Australia, and consider signing an agreement to receive Vietnamese workers to participate in a new Australian agriculture visa programme.

Minister Payne congratulated Minister Son on the occasion of the 76th National Day of Vietnam. The latter thanked and invited former to visit Vietnam at a convenient time./.