First VN-Australia Foreign Ministers open

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bnh Minh and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop chaired the first Việt Nam-Australia Foreign Ministers Meeting on May 28, during which both sides expressed elation at the development of Việt Nam-Australia bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc receives Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Hà Nội on May 28.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc receives Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Hà Nội on May 28.


At the talks, the two sides lauded the early organisation of the meeting, considering this an important first step towards realising the newly-established strategic partnership between the two countries.

The two foreign ministers highlighted the importance of upgrading the strategic partnership during the visit to Australia by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, and agreed to boost co-ordination in carrying out what was achieved in the Joint Statement on the Establishment of Việt Nam-Australia Strategic Partnership and targets in the 2016-19 Action Programme.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh lauded the outcomes of the recent State visit to Việt Nam by the Governor-General of Australia on the occasion of 45 years of Việt Nam-Australia diplomatic ties which, he said, made important contributions to strengthening friendship between the two peoples.

FM Bishop said the Australian government continued to regard Việt Nam as one of its key partners in Asia-Pacific and desires to promote relations with the Southeast Asian nation both within the framework of bilateral co-operation and at regional and international forums.

The two diplomats said that co-operation in economics was a major focus of the strategic partnership and consented to consolidate political trust, expand areas of co-operation while emphasising their determination to fully tap the strengths of each country.

They underlined the need to build more mechanisms for dialogue and information exchange, step up co-operative fields that have a positive impact on the tightening of friendship and people-to-people exchange such as education, culture, sports and tourism.

FM Minh praised Australia for its continued provision of official development assistance (ODA) at the third highest level in Southeast Asia and suggested bolstering co-operation to ensure the efficiency of the projects using ODA funding of Australia.

Julie Bishop asserted her nation’s readiness to continue closer co-operation and its support for Việt Nam’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations and help the country raise capability to ensure maritime security and safety.

The two foreign ministers also compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, concurred to work more closely together and support each other at regional and international forums.

Australia backs the unity and central role of ASEAN in the region, has consistent views on the East Sea issue and makes positive contributions to security issues in the region, the Australian FM said.

FM Minh affirmed that Việt Nam would support Australia’s efforts to expand co-operation with ASEAN and other regional nations, implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as well as activities and initiatives of APEC Year 2018 to be hosted by Papua New Guinea.

Both sides also decided to intensify high-level exchange visits and contacts, and implement bilateral co-operation mechanisms and frameworks, especially the newly established ones regarding economic, agricultural and innovation partnerships.

PM meeting

The same day, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc hosted a reception in Hà Nội for Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, during which they appreciated the development of bilateral relations in recent years. 

PM Phúc spoke highly of the Australian FM’s visit, saying it takes places right after the successful visit to Việt Nam from May 23-26 by Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove to translate the reliable and profound Việt Nam-Australia strategic partnership into reality. 

The Government leader also hailed the outcomes of earlier talks between Bishop and Vietnamese Deputy PM and FM Phạm Bình Minh. Bishop, for her part, emphasised the importance of fostering the implementation of the Việt Nam – Australia strategic partnership to deepen bilateral ties.

She said she was pleased to know that more and more Australian investors are doing business in Việt Nam and that Australia wants to step up collaboration with Việt Nam in many areas, particularly innovation. 

PM Phúc agreed with FM Bishop’s cooperation proposals, saying the two countries need to soon implement the contents of the strategic partnership and agencies must work together to remove barriers and bolster investment and trade exchange for the benefit of their businesses and people. — VNS

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