Australian Embassy


08 September 2009

Australia - Viet Nam Joint Statement

At the invitation of the Honourable Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam His Excellency Mr Nong Duc Manh paid an official visit to Australia from the 6-9 of September 2009.

2. On 7 September, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh held talks with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and with other Cabinet Ministers. The Prime Minister and the General Secretary had frank and open talks on all aspects of the bilateral relationship as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern. They reaffirmed the importance of the bilateral relationship and the broad range of cooperation between Viet Nam and Australia on global and regional issues. The two sides agreed to establish the Viet Nam - Australia Comprehensive Partnership. The Partnership lays out a clear framework to strengthen the bilateral relationship through: building multi-faceted cooperation; ongoing development assistance; and technical cooperation to combat people smuggling and counter terrorism. The Prime Minister and the General Secretary agreed that officials from both countries would discuss and develop an Action Plan to take forward these interests.

3. Prime Minister Rudd congratulated General Secretary Manh on Viet Nam's important achievements in economic reform and welcomed Viet Nam's initiatives for further development. General Secretary Manh welcomed Australia's role as one of the long-term donors and partners in Viet Nam's development. Both sides noted that Australia was one of the top ten donors to Viet Nam, contributing development assistance estimated at $106 million in 2009-2010. The Prime Minister reiterated Australia's commitment to assist during the design phase, and looked forward to further positive consideration, of the Cao Lanh Bridge in the Mekong Delta, subject to the outcomes of the Asian Development Bank feasibility study currently underway.

4. Both sides noted the substantial contribution education links make to the bilateral relationship, including by building close ties between people of both countries. The two leaders also recognised the support extended by the Australian government to Viet Nam in training and exchange of experience on administrative reforms and anti-corruption. The Prime Minister noted that Australia was a leading destination for Vietnamese students, with more than 20,000 Vietnamese enrolments in Australian courses. Australian education providers had also enjoyed great success in Viet Nam, with more than 14,000 students studying in Viet Nam for Australian qualifications.

5. The Prime Minister and the General Secretary acknowledged the dynamic bilateral trade and investment relationship between Australia and Viet Nam, noting that it was Australia's fastest-growing trade relationship in ASEAN. The two leaders agreed that the Vietnamese economy offered favourable opportunities for Australian business and committed to continued cooperation in developing these opportunities.

6. The two leaders discussed the impact of the global economic and financial crisis and the international response to the crisis. There has been unprecedented international cooperation to stabilise the global economy and restore confidence, with a range of global and regional institutions playing an important role such as the UN, G20, APEC and ASEAN. The Prime Minister welcomed Viet Nam's important efforts and successes in mitigating the impact of the crisis and achieving a growth target of around 5 per cent in 2009. The General Secretary congratulated Australia on its impressive economic performance among OECD countries.

7. The Prime Minister and the General Secretary agreed on the importance of trade to continued growth and the need for an ambitious and balanced outcome to the WTO Doha Development Round of world trade negotiations as soon as possible. The Prime Minister welcomed Viet Nam's early ratification of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, a key platform for further growth in bilateral trade and investment. The Prime Minister also welcomed Viet Nam's participation in negotiations to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and looked forward to working constructively and cooperatively with Viet Nam during the negotiations.

8. The two sides agreed to negotiate an agreement on science and research cooperation in order to enhance collaborative research between Australian and Vietnamese scientists, building on existing cooperation in health and agricultural research.

9. In recalling the agreement between Prime Minister Rudd and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to deepen their strategic engagement, both sides welcomed the regional security dialogue held at senior officials' level in Hanoi on 20-21 August 2009. They also highly valued the effectiveness of other cooperation dialogues between the two countries, including the Australia - Viet Nam Human Rights Dialogue.

10. The Prime Minister and the General Secretary welcomed growing practical cooperation between Australian and Vietnamese government agencies, particularly in border security and combating transnational crime. The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Exchange of Immigration Information earlier this year and looked forward to the signing of an agreement to establish the Transnational Crime Centre in Ho Chi Minh City later in 2009.

11. Prime Minister Rudd and General Secretary Nong Duc Manh expressed satisfaction with the excellent cooperation between Australia and Viet Nam in the Asia-Pacific region and on global issues. The Prime Minister welcomed Viet Nam's upcoming chairing of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2010 and looked forward to working closely with Viet Nam during its period as Chair. The two sides highly valued and agreed to continue promoting cooperation between the two countries in regional and international fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, EAS, APEC, WTO and the United Nations. The General Secretary affirmed that Viet Nam would continue to support and promote cooperation between Australia and ASEAN. Vietnam took note of and supported continued discussion of Australia's initiative for an Asia Pacific community and will positively consider Australia's candidature for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2013-2014.

12. General Secretary Nong Duc Manh expressed his deep gratitude to the Government and the people of Australia for the warm hospitality extended to him and the high level delegation of Viet Nam. General Secretary Nong Duc Manh extended his invitation to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to make an official visit to Vietnam at a mutually convenient time. The Prime Minister accepted the invitation with pleasure.