Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Photo: VNA)
Morrison’s trip to Vietnam takes place amid the strong Vietnam-Australia relations and high political trust via regular exchanges of high-ranking delegations.
Vietnam and Australia officially established diplomatic ties on February 26th, 1973, and a comprehensive partnership in 2009. The relationship was elevated to a strategic partnership in 2018 during the official visit to Australia by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc from March 14th to 17th.
The two countries have effectively implemented the action programme for the 2016-2019 period and are building another one for 2020-2022 to materialise the strategic partnership.
Australia regards Vietnam as a key partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and an effective development partner during the reform process.
The two sides are maintaining bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including annual meetings at the ministerial level in such spheres as diplomacy, national defence and economy, and policy dialogues in different realms.
They have fruitfully joined hands in national defence and security through delegation exchanges and agreements on cooperation in crime combat, exit-entry management, the fight against illegal migration, information and experience sharing, English language teaching, and visits of naval ships.
The two sides inked a memorandum of understanding on collaboration in training peace-keeping forces, and bomb and mine clearance in 2016. Australia assisted Vietnam in performing its tasks in the United Nations peace-keeping operations in South Sudan in 2018.
Australia is the only country that has opened a joint transnational crime centre in Vietnam, through which the two countries have exchanged information and cooperated in fighting terrorism, drug crime and human trafficking.
Australia is the longest-standing dialogue partner of ASEAN (since 1974). The two sides set up a strategic partnership in 2014. Australia has applauded Vietnam’s role in the region.
Vietnamese and Australian leaders have repeatedly affirmed their common vision of maintaining peace and stability in the region, including the East Sea. They have also emphasised the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
Currently, Vietnam is the fourth largest trade partner of Australia in the ASEAN bloc, while the latter is the 7th largest of the Southeast Asian country. Two-way trade has inched up 8.8 percent each year on average. Their trade revenue grew 19.3 percent to USD7.7 trillion in 2018, with Vietnam’s exports valued at nearly USD4 billion.
In the first six months of 2019, total trade volume was estimated at USD3.84 billion, a year-on-year surge of 6.1 percent./.