Top Vietnamese Legislator Hopes for Enhanced Ties with Australia

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his delight at visiting Australia for the first time in his capacity as the top Vietnamese legislator.


National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and the Vietnamese NA’s delegation started an official visit to Australia on November 30 at the invitation of Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Milton Dick, and President of the Australian Senate Sue Lines, VNA reported.

Top Vietnamese Legislator Hopes for Enhanced Ties with Australia
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (middle), President of the Senate Sue Lines (right) and Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick (left). Photo: VNA

Chairman Hue has affirmed that his ongoing Australia visit aims to further deepen the strategic partnership and cooperation between the two legislatures, not only bilaterally but also at multilateral forums, towards the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic relations next year.

Hue made the statement during his talks with President of the Senate Sue Lines and Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick in Canberra on November 30.

Both sides shared the view that the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership has been growing steadily, practically, effectively and evenly in all spheres, from politics – foreign affairs, economy-trade-investment, and national defense-security, to education, agriculture and labour.

In particular, the exchange of high-level delegations and meetings has been maintained regularly while bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been flexibly deployed both online or in-person. Two-way trade surpassed USD 10 billion for the first time to USD 12.4 billion in 2021 and USD 13.4 billion in the first ten months of this year. As of September, Australia had invested in 577 projects valued at USD 1.97 billion in Vietnam.

Hue thanked Australia for increasing the supply of official development assistance to Vietnam by 18% to AUD 93 million ( USD 62.5 million) in the 2022-2023 fiscal year as well as assisting Vietnam in the fight against Covid-19 by donating 26.4 million doses of vaccine to adults and children via bilateral channels and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), along with other medical supplies.

The two sides agreed to facilitate high-level visits via Party, State, parliament channels and people-to-people exchanges, jointly hold activities to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2023, and speed up the implementation of the bilateral Plan of Action for the 2020-2023 period and other deals.

The two countries will step up collaboration in national defence-security, agriculture, education-training, tourism and culture while expanding cooperation in new fields such as climate change response, green growth, energy transition, digital transformation and digital economy.

As room for economic cooperation remains large, the leaders held that the two legislatures will facilitate the exchange of goods, especially opening the door for each other’s farm produce, expanding and accessing markets for their enterprises; working closely with competent agencies to effectively implement the 2021-2025 Plan of Action under the Vietnam-Australia Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES).

Dick promised to encourage Australian corporations and businesses to enhance investment in Vietnam in areas of their strength such as renewable energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance-banking, manufacturing, services, education, tourism, high-tech agriculture, climate change response, sci-tech, supply chain, mining and aviation.

The Vietnamese leader suggested Australia create conditions for Vietnamese businesses to increase investment in the country in the fields of agriculture, mining, and aviation, while accelerating the issuance of visas for Vietnamese agricultural workers to work in Australia.

He also proposed Australia help Vietnam fulfill its commitments to net zero emissions by 2050 made at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26), and continue with cooperation and stable supply of coal and liquefied natural gas to help Vietnam ensure energy security.

The leaders expressed their satisfaction with Vietnam-Australia close coordination in issues of shared concern at international forums and organisations, including the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.

On this occasion, Hue thanked Australia for backing Vietnam in its capacity as Vice President of the UN General Assembly’s 77th session representing Asia-Pacific and a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 tenure.

He also agreed with the Australian leaders to support the upgrade of the bilateral strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership when relevant procedures are completed for the benefit of the people of the two nations and for peace, cooperation and development in the region.

In the near future, they pledged to continue maintaining the exchange of visits by senior leaders of the two legislative bodies, step up the sharing of legislation and supervision experience, create favourable conditions for the two countries’ Friendship Parliamentarians Groups to operate; direct ministries, agencies, localities and enterprises to implement signed agreements; maintain consultation, coordination and mutual support at multilateral cooperation mechanisms, regional and global parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), thus making positive contributions to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese NA Chairman suggested the Australian Parliament continue assisting and creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Australia to stabilise their lives, well integrate into the host society and serve as bridges for the ties between the two countries.

On the occasion, Hue invited Lines and Dick to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Concluding the talks, the leaders signed a cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese NA and the Australian Parliament with new and wide-ranging cooperation contents.

Encouraging more citizens to travel and invest

Top Vietnamese Legislator Hopes for Enhanced Ties with Australia
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (right) shakes hands with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Photo: VNA

The same day, NA Chairman Hue meet with Australian PM Anthony Albanese, Governor-General David Hurley and Deputy PM and Minister for Defence Richard Marles in Canberra.

During the meeting with the Australian PM, Hue expressed his delight at visiting Australia for the first time in his capacity as the top Vietnamese legislator.

They pledged to study to expand collaboration to new fields such as energy, climate change, green growth and digital economy, contributing to creating more motivation for strong and comprehensive development of the bilateral ties.

The Australian PM agreed with the proposal of NA Chairman Hue on creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural workers to work in the country, while encouraging more Australian citizens to travel and Australian enterprises to invest in the Southeast Asian country.

Hue thanked the Australian Government for supporting Vietnamese citizens, especially during the pandemic, and expressed his wish that it would continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to contribute to the development of Australia and the relationship between the two countries.

On the basis of important achievements made in bilateral relations, the two leaders agreed to support the elevation of the two countries’ relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership at an appropriate time.

Top Vietnamese Legislator Hopes for Enhanced Ties with Australia
Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue (L) and Governor-General of Australia David Hurley. Photo: VNA

At the meeting with the Governor-General, Hue took the occasion to convey President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to the Australian leader to pay an official visit to Vietnam in 2023 when the two nations celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Believing that Hue’s visit will make positive contributions to fostering the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership and the relationship between the legislative bodies, Hurley said he wishes to visit Vietnam again.

Meanwhiles, Deputy PM and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, who is also a member of the Australian Parliament and Deputy Leader of the Australian Labour Party, agreed to continue intensifying bilateral defence-security cooperation, affirming that Australia will continue with its support in the training of military officers, peacekeeping missions and sending naval ships to visit Vietnam.

He also agreed to early establish the mechanism of ministerial-level defence consultation dialogue, update the Joint Vision Statement promoting defence cooperation signed in 2018, and consider expanding collaboration in promising fields such as defence industry, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, transnational crime prevention, cyber security, and increase the sharing of information on issues related to national security and the interests of the two countries.

Receiving Senator Don Farrell, Special Minister of State and Minister for Trade and Tourism, on the same day, Hue suggested the two sides discuss and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of mechanisms on a ministerial-level dialogue on trade and another on energy and mining.

As there remains ample room to boost bilateral economic, trade and investment ties, Hue proposed the two countries continue create favourable conditions for enterprises and investors and informed that during his visit, economic and education cooperation forums will be held.

Farrell, for his part, expressed his wish that the two countries will hold a ministerial-level dialogue on trade next year on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties to further promote economic-trade-investment ties.

Australia is striving to become a renewable and clean energy powerhouse and will continue cooperating with Vietnam in this field, he said.

Hannah Nguyen