International Media Highlight Australian Prime Minister’s Visit to Vietnam

The visit to Vietnam by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was a great success.

Nikkei run an article Australia and Vietnam solidify ties with Albanese visit
Nikkei run an article titled ‘Australia and Vietnam solidify ties with Albanese visit’. Snapshot photo

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia recently made an official visit to Vietnam, which was reported on by notable international news agencies and newspapers, including Nikkei of Japan and Bloomberg of the United States. The visit was seen as a positive sign of the growing relationship between the two countries.

According to National Tribune Australia, Vietnam is a strategic and economic partner and an enduring friend to Australia. Strengthening Australia’s relations with Vietnam is a crucial part of the Government’s commitment to restoring Australia’s connections with the countries of Southeast Asia.

This year marks the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam. Over the past five decades, the two nations have made tremendous strides in their partnership, and are now in the process of taking it to the next level by establishing a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Bilateral talks focused on ways to expand trade and investment, building on the impressive growth of two-way trade which rose by nearly 40% in the last financial year. To underscore the critical importance of this trading relationship with a thriving and growing economic partner, the Prime Ministers announced the first-ever Australia-Vietnam Trade Ministers’ Dialogue, according to National Tribune Australia.

Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) has highlighted that Australia is the seventh-largest trading partner for Vietnam, while Vietnam is ranked tenth among Australia’s trading partners.

The Financial Review's correspondent also wrote a piece stressing that PM Albanese says Vietnamese workers can help fill skills shortages, as he declared his desire to elevate Vietnam as one of Australia’s top-tier partners.
Financial Review’s correspondent also wrote a piece stressing that PM Albanese says Vietnamese workers can help fill skills shortages, as he declared his desire to elevate Vietnam as one of Australia’s top-tier partners. Snapshot photo

The Australian Prime Minister has declared his desire for Vietnam to become one of Australia’s top partners, and expressed his hope that the two countries will soon upgrade their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. According to The Financial Review, the PM made the announcement during his visit to the nation. He emphasised that the two nations had a long history of friendly relations and that he believed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership would strengthen that bond.

Australian media were amazed when Prime Minister Albanese sampled bia hoi, a traditional Vietnamese beer that is typically enjoyed by Hanoians in the summer heat, and banh mi, a scrumptious Vietnamese sandwich that is beloved by tourists.

The Australian press highlighted that both the beer and sandwich baguette were crafted from barley and wheat flour imported from Australia. What the Australian press emphasized was that both the beer and the sandwich baguette were made from barley and wheat flour imported from Australia.

Meanwhile, ABC News reported that during the visit, the two sides signed several agreements, including an AUD-105-million-package to assist Vietnam in decarbonizing its economy in order to meet its commitment of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

They also consented to collaborate in information exchange and regularly convene meetings between the two trade ministers.

The two Prime Ministers were overjoyed to hear that two new air routes had been launched – Vietnam Airlines’ Hanoi-Melbourne route and Vietjet Air’s route connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Brisbane.

Earlier this week, Nikkei reported that Albanese had become the first Australian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Vietnam in nearly four years. This was his inaugural trip to the Southeast Asian nation since assuming office in May 2022.

The two nations are set to elevate their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, taking it to an unprecedented level. This move will shape a new era in their diplomatic ties and deepen the bond between them.

Australia has been a major source of aid to Vietnam in the fight against Covid-19, providing vaccines to the Southeast Asian nation during the pandemic. In addition, Australia is a major export destination for barley, with 99% of Vietnamese beer made with the Australian grain. Albanese remarked on this fact in a tweet.

Prior to his journey to Vietnam, Albanese made a statement during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, wherein he expressed Australia’s desire to forge closer ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s headlines of its two articles were, “Banh Mi, Beer and Friendship On the Menu for Albanese in Vietnam” and “Albanese Looks to ‘Important Friend’ Vietnam to Fill Skills Shortages”, emphasizing that Prime Minister Albanese has vowed to take Australia’s relationship with Vietnam to the next level.

Hannah Nguyen