Deputy PM visits Australia to boost bilateral ties

08:20 | 25/07/2017 Events

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue held working sessions with a number of Australian officials, on July 24, to seek measures to further foster the partnership between the two countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (L) shakes hands with Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison - Photo: VNA

At a meeting with Treasurer Scott Morrison, Deputy PM Hue, who is on a visit to Australia from July 23-25, highly valued Australia’s commitment to continue providing development assistance to Vietnam, in various fields such as environment, the improvement of livelihoods in mountainous and rural areas, climate change response and gender equality.

Morrison lauded Vietnam’s role as the host of the APEC 2017 with many important meetings. Vietnam has also devised the agenda for the event, which received high approval from the member economies, he said.

He affirmed Australia’s policy of giving top priority to cooperation with the ASEAN and the country’s wish to help promote ASEAN’s solidarity, self-reliance, prosperity and central role within the region.

The two sides agreed that their bilateral partnership is experiencing a solid period, with strong collaboration in economy, trade and investment. They lauded the close ties between the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam and Australia’s Treasury, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in 2012.

The two sides are also discussing the signing of another deal for the new period until 2020, aiming to share experience in finance-budget, state budget allocation and the management of bad debt and public debt of joint stock commercial banks, and maintaining the stability of the macro economy.

Both sides agreed to foster cooperation within multilateral economic forums and organisations, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

At a meeting with the New South Wales Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton, Deputy PM Hue praised the positive contributions of New South Wales to the growth of the Vietnam-Australia partnership, especially in terms of education, tourism and people-to-people contact.

He expressed his hope that, with their high potential in industry, agriculture, finance and service, New South Wales will continue acting as a pioneer in boosting Vietnam-Australia economic relations.

Upton stated that the New South Wales Government always attaches great importance to their cooperation with Vietnam, pledging to encourage local firms to strengthen investment and business in Vietnam, in promising areas such as education, coal and gas export and energy security.

She declared that New South Wales always creates the best conditions for the 120,000-strong Vietnamese community to settle in and develop.

Also on July 24, Deputy PM Hue attended the Vietnam-Australia Business Dialogue, which drew 150 delegates from leading Vietnamese and Australian firms in diverse areas such as rice production and import, seafood, banking, urban planning, IT, mining and logistics.

Addressing the event, Deputy PM Hue noted that Australia is now the 19th largest investor in Vietnam, with 407 projects worth a combined US$1.85 billion. Australia is also an important market for Vietnamese investors, who are running 36 projects with total capital of nearly US$200 million in the country.

Australia is also the seventh largest trade partner of Vietnam and two-way trade reached about US$5.3 billion in 2016, with Vietnamese exports valued at US$2.86 billion.

He held that bilateral trade will be further developed thanks to such cooperative frameworks as the ASEAN-Australia free trade agreement, APEC, and the future Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and TPP (if it is to be deployed).

He suggested that Australian enterprises should expand their investment activities in Vietnam in the manufacturing industry, energy, infrastructure building, service-education-tourism, agriculture, food processing, and minerals.

Director of the Austrade CEO Stephanie Fahey highlighted the development of the bilateral partnership strategy in agriculture, food, education and infrastructure. He affirmed that Austrade will work harder to connect businesses of both sides for the completion of the strategy.

At the event, many enterprises showed an interest in investing in Vietnam, especially in rice development, aquatic farming and breweries. They also asked for the Vietnamese Government’s support during their investment.