Vietnam, Australia need to develop more balanced trade: PM

Vietnam and Australia need to develop bilateral trade in a more balanced way by promoting the export of Vietnamese products to the Southwest Pacific nation, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said while receiving Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell in Hanoi on April 17.

Farrell is on a working visit in Vietnam to co-chair the third Vietnam-Australia Economic Partnership Meeting together with Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, which took place on the same day.

Being informed by the guest on the sound outcomes of the meeting, PM Chinh recommended the minister to work closely with Vietnamese competent agencies to effectively implement the results and the Vietnam - Australia Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) announced in December 2021.

The host and guest reviewed and lauded achievements in the bilateral ties as this year marks the 50th founding anniversary of their diplomatic relations, which was upgraded to a strategic partnership in March 2018. In their meeting earlier this month, Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and Australian Governor-General David Hurley agreed to exchange views on the upgrade of the relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership at an appropriate time in the future.

Last year, bilateral trade hit 15.7 billion USD, up nearly 27% year on year. Vietnam is now Australia’s 10th biggest trading partner and Australia is Vietnam’s 7th largest trading partner.

Vietnam is implementing three strategic breakthroughs – institutional building, human resource and infrastructure development, PM Chinh said, noting that in the process, the country has always received support from Australia.

He took this occasion to thank Australia for assisting Vietnam in COVID-19 prevention and control and socio-economic recovery.

The PM proposed Australia make it easier for Vietnamese electronic, footwear, textile, and agricultural products to access its market and give a boost to a number of fields where both nations have strength such as education-training, digital economy, innovation, renewable energy, labour, tourism, people-to-people exchange, and high-tech farming.

He hoped that Farrell, in his post, will make contributions to fostering the bilateral trade and cooperation towards effectiveness and practical outcomes, helping the two sides fully tap their potential.

PM Chinh expressed his wish that Australia will share experience to help Vietnam build an independent, self-reliant economy in association with extensive and effective international integration, particularly in the fields of innovation, capital support, technology, personnel training, and management experience serving such areas as digital economy, green economy, circular economy, energy transition, and climate change.

He asked the minister to convey his invitation to the Australian PM to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Agreeing with the host’s suggestions, Farrell said he will collaborate with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to realise the PM’s wishes.

He affirmed that Australia wants Vietnam to play a more important role in the country’s trade partner diversification strategy and act as a bridge to promote its relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).