There is “high hope and firm ground” to believe that Việt Nam and Australia will soon upgrade diplomatic relations to a higher level.
Nguyễn Hồng Hải, senior lecturer at Hà Nội-based VinUniversity, told Việt Nam News of his opinion following the recent successful three-day visit to Việt Nam by Australian foreign minister Penny Wong.
Hải said her schedule in Việt Nam was packed with nearly ten activities, both formal and informal, mainly in Hà Nội, in addition to a visit to Việt Nam’s economic powerhouse HCM City in the south.
Wong had talks with Vietnamese counterpart Bùi Thanh Sơn, had a meeting with Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and attended the “Việt Nam-Australia Forum on Regional Cooperation in a Changing World.”
Her last day in Hà Nội was concluded with the “Taste of Australia BBQ,” a cultural event that showcased the best food and beverages of Australia with more than 1,000 attendees.
During the visit, Wong also announced additional AU$94.5 million on top of another AU$105 million funding previously committed by the Australian Government during Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s official visit to Việt Nam in June to support the country’s response to climate change in the Mekong Delta.
Hải said that through Wong’s conversations with the Vietnamese hosts, remarks with the press and the “Taste of Australia BBQ,” there are five key things to take away from her visit.
First, Việt Nam is important to Australia, and this is a “clear message that was echoed by Ms. Wong on various occasions,” Hải said.
Second, the ties between Việt Nam and Australia are getting stronger than ever. The Australian foreign minister said two sides are working hard together to elevate the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership based on friendship, strategic trust, shared vision, and interests.
Third, Australia’s development assistance committed to Việt Nam is large and strong, especially in addressing climate change issues in the Mekong Delta region.
Fourth, people-to-people links through cultural exchange activities are the clue that tightens the two nations together.
Fifth and finally, economic cooperation remains a strong pillar in the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Việt Nam will be at the heart of the Australian Government’s soon-being-launched Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, according to the expert.
Penny Wong was visiting Việt Nam during August 22-24, as part of the high-level exchanges for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Việt Nam-Australia relations (1973-2023).
With their diplomatic relations set up in 1973, Việt Nam and Australia established a comprehensive partnership in 2009 and have enhanced the ties to a strategic partnership since 2018. — VNS
This article was originally published on Vietnam News and has been republished with full permission from the author. To view the original article please click here.
Dr Hai Hong Nguyen is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences at VinUniversity, Vietnam and a Visiting Fellow at the Australia Vietnam Policy Institute.