Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and his
Australian counterpart Scott Morrison during G20 Summit in Japan in June 2019.
It takes place amidst the thriving bilateral relations and increasing
political trust, with the exchange of high-ranking delegations and meetings.
Vietnam and Australia officially established
diplomatic ties on February 26, 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 14-17.
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 has regarded 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 have maintained bilateral cooperation
mechanisms, including annual meetings at the ministerial level in such
spheres as diplomacy, national defence and economy, and policy dialogues in
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 7.7 trillion USD
in 2018, with Vietnam’s exports valued at nearly 4 billion USD. In the first
six months of 2019, total trade volume was estimated at 3.84 billion USD, a
year-on-year surge of 6.1 percent.
By the end of June, Australian investors had
registered over 1.86 billion USD in 458 projects in Vietnam, ranking 20th
among the 131 countries and territories having investments in the country.
In the meantime, Vietnam had 53 projects worth 247 million USD in Australia.
As one of the largest providers of official
development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam (around 66 million USD each year
during 2013-2018), Australia has funded various essential infrastructure in
the country, including 61 million USD My Thuan bridge and 108.7 million USD
Cao Lanh bridge.
During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, Australia
continues to fund 78.2 million AUD (53.12 USD) for projects in economic
reform, enhancing capacity in gender equality, and livelihood improvement in
Vietnam and Australia have been sharing a history of
education and training cooperation. Australia has provided many short-term
and long-term fellowships for Vietnamese students. There was a time the
number of scholarships granted to Vietnamese nationals reaching 400, and now
it is maintained at 100 each year. Currently, there are some 31,000
Vietnamese graduates and postgraduates in Australia.
Besides, there are 18 education exchange programmes
carried out by universities and institutes in both nations. Particularly,
the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, which creates opportunities
for Australian undergraduates to undertake semester-based study and
internships or mentorships in 40 participating Indo-Pacific locations, has
attracted many Australian students and scholars to Vietnam. Around 2,500
Australians have come to Vietnam under the programme during 2015-2019.
Regarding science-technology and innovation, both
nations announced the creation of the Vietnam-Australia Innovation
Partnership in November 2017, and the Aus4Innovation programme, a 10 million
AUD develop assistance programme, is being enacted under the innovation
partnership. Its focal objective is to strengthen Vietnam’s innovation
system, prepare for and embrace opportunities associated with Industry 4.0,
and help shape Vietnam’s innovation agenda in science and technology.
In tourism, the number of Australian arrivals in
Vietnam has increased through years. Last year, Vietnam hosted 386, 934
Australian tourists, a year on year surge of 4.1 percent. In the first four
month of this year, the number increased 6.6 percent year on year to 14,997.
As Vietnam and Australia began the reciprocal work
and holiday visa arrangement from March 2015, more people have chances to
visit and work in both nations.
There are around 300,000 Vietnamese people in
Australia, creating the 5th largest community in the nation.
Both sides have enjoyed sound collaboration at
regional and international forums like the ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS),
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the United Nations (UN).
During his stay in Vietnam, besides talks and
meetings with Vietnam’s top leaders, PM Scott Morrison will meet with
excellent businesses of both countries, and have an exchange with the UN’s
peacekeeping force at the Vietnam Military Medical University.
His visit will bear a hallmark in the robust