Vietnam, Australia release joint statement that underlines enhancement of partnership

A joint statement on promoting bilateral ties between Vietnam and Australia was issued on Thursday, wrapping up a two-day visit to Australia paid by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

PM Dung, who visited Australia from March 17 to 18, and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott underscored the strength of the Vietnam-Australia ties and agreed to take the relationship to a new height, the Vietnam News Agency cited the joint statement as saying.

During their talks on Wednesday, the two premiers discussed a wide range of important issues, including trade, investment, education, development assistance, defense, the East Vietnam Sea, and their common commitment to strengthening the strategic and security mandate of the East Asia Summit, the document reads.

The two sides called on all parties to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), exercise restraint, and refrain from actions that could increase tensions in the region, including the use of coercion or force to unilaterally alter the status quo.

They also concurred in the urgent need to progress a code of conduct for the East Vietnam Sea.

The two leaders pledged to reach a prompt conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, emphasizing that these pacts would help drive higher growth.

“The Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of the Declaration on Enhancing the Australia-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, which sets out a high-level strategic agenda to guide the relationship in coming years,” the joint statement reads.

The declaration also highlights regional and international cooperation, trade and investment, industry development, development assistance, defense, law enforcement, and security.

“The two Foreign Ministers will sign a revised Plan of Action later in 2015, which will outline the practical steps towards our new and refocused priority areas of cooperation,” the joint statement said.

Many memorandums of understanding were also signed during PM Dung’s visit on unexploded ordnance removal, peacekeeping, human trafficking prevention, and a new working holidaymaker visa arrangement.

The Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, will lead a trade mission to Vietnam in the second half of this year to further promote trade and investment cooperation.

“In Canberra, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also met the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Leader of the Opposition. In Sydney, Mr Nguyen Tan Dung met the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Governor of New South Wales,” the joint statement said.

PM Dung extended to Prime Minister Tony Abbott an invitation to visit Vietnam and the host accepted it with pleasure, according to the joint statement.


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