Australia values Vietnam's partnership, regional role: FM

By Vu Anh   June 27, 2022 | 06:32 am PT
Australia values Vietnam's partnership, regional role: FM
Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong (L) meets with her Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on June 27, 2022. Photo courtesy of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Australia is committed to strengthening its strategic partnership with Vietnam and highly values its regional role, visiting Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Monday.

Reciprocating her sentiment, her Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son welcomed Wong’s choice of Vietnam as her first Southeast Asian destination since taking office last month. He said her visit would strengthen and boost bilateral relations.

Wong will conclude her official visit to Vietnam on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

She said Australia has always valued Vietnam's role in the region and that the new government was committed to further strengthening the strategic partnership with Vietnam.

The two ministers agreed that it was important the two countries strengthen cooperation in sectors and industries hit hard by the pandemic like tourism, education, and labor cooperation, as well as traditional areas like trade, investment, defense and security.

They also agreed that the two countries would expand collaboration in climate change, green growth, and sustainability.

Son wanted Australia to continue contributing to regional cooperation with respect for ASEAN's central role in promoting regional peace, stability and prosperity.

Wong emphasized the importance of Australia's cooperative relationship with ASEAN, as well as the importance of maintaining peace, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight while complying with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Vietnam and Australia established diplomatic relations in 1973 and became strategic partners in 2018.

Trade between the two countries was worth US$12.4 billion last year, about 50 percent more than in 2020.

Both countries aim to be among each other's top 10 commercial partners and to double investments in each other by 2025.

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