Viet Nam and Australia have built strong relations on the basis of mutual respect and interest. The relationship contributes to the peace, stability, cooperation and development of each country as well as the region and the world. Since establishment of diplomatic relations in February 1973, Australia and Viet Nam have developed a substantive, positive and mutually beneficial economic, political and security relationship, reinforced by warm and expanding people-to-people links. This Declaration on Enhancing the Australia-Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership expresses the wish of our countries to look for opportunities to expand relations further in a mutually beneficial way.
On 7 September 2009, seeking to strengthen and enhance the bilateral relationship, Australia and Viet Nam established the Australia – Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership. The following year, the Australia - Vietnam Plan of Action 2010-2013 was agreed, to provide a framework through which cooperation identified in the Comprehensive Partnership could be delivered.
Noting the strategic and economic developments in the region since 2009, the Government of Australia and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam commit to building on the success of the original Comprehensive Partnership and Plan of Action through this Declaration on Enhancing the Australia-Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership that reflects the current dynamics of our region and a more mature bilateral relationship. A second Plan of Action will deliver new and refocused priority areas of cooperation.
Australia and Viet Nam have mutual interests in regional security, stability, and economic growth. Both countries benefit from a secure and stable regional environment that respects sovereignty and international law. Both countries recognise there remain significant challenges to achieving a stable, peaceful and prosperous region.
Australia and Viet Nam share the goal of reinforcing and developing regional and international institutions to promote our common political, economic and security interests. Australia and Viet Nam will continue to work in partnership to shape the future of the region and broader global environment. Both countries recognise the importance of suitable regional architecture, particularly Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS), to address issues affecting our region.
The Government of Australia and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam underscore the need for a rules-based multilateral trading system, which provides the foundation for a healthy and growing global economy. Both countries are committed to deepening bilateral trade and investment linkages and creating the best possible conditions for business to flourish. Australia recognises and supports Viet Nam’s goal of sustainable economic development to benefit its nation and people.
The Government of Australia and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam acknowledge the importance of long-term global and regional economic integration through their shared commitment to the trade and investment liberalisation agenda. This includes the implementation of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and the finalisation of an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
This Declaration on Enhancing the Australia-Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership has been developed to build on previous successes, to deepen and expand the strong relations between Australia and Viet Nam, and to deliver on the principles outlined above that will benefit the region. Specifically, it provides a framework for enhancing the relationship across the following key areas:
1. Bilateral cooperation
1. Australia and Viet Nam will continue to bring a greater strategic focus to the bilateral relationship and to promote high-level engagement.
2. Australia and Viet Nam recognise the importance of high-level political dialogue in promoting bilateral cooperation, and will continue to increase the exchange of high-level visits and working-level dialogue between the Communist Party, Government and National Assembly of Viet Nam and the Parties, Government and Parliament of Australia.
3. Australia and Viet Nam share common interests for peace and security in our region. Both countries will continue to engage in dialogue and cooperation on defence and security matters, navigation and aviation security and safety in the region, law enforcement and transnational crime.
4. Australia and Viet Nam reaffirm their shared interest in promoting human rights and our commitment to uphold the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This includes continued support for the Australia-Vietnam Dialogue on International Organisations and Legal issues, Including Human Rights, as a means to develop mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
5. Australia and Viet Nam welcome the fact that strong and growing people-to-people links already exist between our countries. These links exist across all levels of society and across a broad spread of business, academic, media, cultural, and non-government agencies, and friendly and sporting organisations. The two countries commit to work to strengthen these links, including through further cooperation in the fields of culture, sports and tourism.
6. Australia and Viet Nam value the contribution of the Vietnamese community in Australia and the Australian community in Viet Nam to the social and economic development of both countries, and in promoting friendship and cooperation.
7. Australia and Viet Nam will seek to expand their mutually beneficial scientific collaboration including under the auspices of the bilateral Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
8. Australia and Viet Nam will seek to expand their strong education and training partnership. Australia is the leading provider of government scholarships to Viet Nam and the first-choice destination for Vietnamese students studying abroad. Both countries commit to cooperating in the vocational education and training sector and strengthening educational linkages through partnerships between education institutions and, in particular, implementation of the New Colombo Plan.
9. Australia and Viet Nam recognise that international legal cooperation is vital to combatting transnational crime and enhancing regional security, and reaffirm their commitment to strengthening cooperation on law and justice issues. This includes bolstering frameworks for appropriate international and bilateral cooperation on legal and justice issues.
10. Australia and Viet Nam highly value their bilateral relationship in the agricultural sector and will continue to explore opportunities to deepen this mutually beneficial cooperation in areas such as food standards and safety, quarantine and agricultural research.
11. Australia and Viet Nam recognise the importance of environmental protection and responding to climate change, and will continue to look for opportunities to cooperate in these areas.
12. Australia and Viet Nam agree to explore possibilities for bilateral cooperation in other fields such as finance, information and communication, natural resources and environment and consular matters.
2. Regional and international cooperation
1. Australia and Viet Nam recognise that the security and prosperity of both countries is linked to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Reaffirming their respect for national independence and sovereignty, Australia and Viet Nam will work together in regional fora to continue to develop architecture supportive of regional security, stability and environmental cooperation, and to promote regional confidence-building measures to minimise the risk of conflict in the region.
2. Australia and Viet Nam will cooperate to strengthen further the regional architecture, including the EAS, in which ASEAN plays the central role, for the promotion of regional peace, stability, security. Both countries will work together to promote the EAS as a Leader-led forum to discuss strategic issues of common interest, including security, economic cooperation and development in the region.
3. Australia and Viet Nam commit to cooperating closely in the United Nations to advance issues of mutual interest and to promote the effectiveness of the United Nations institution. Both countries reaffirm their support for reform of the United Nations Security Council.
4. Australia and Viet Nam emphasise the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region, and ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, without resorting to the threat or use of force. Both countries call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from actions that could increase tensions in the region. Both countries agree on the urgent need to conclude a code of conduct for the South China Sea.
5. Australia and Viet Nam will work together to combat people smuggling and other forms of irregular migration, building on well-established bilateral cooperation and also through regional initiatives such as the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
6. Viet Nam and Australia value the partnership between Australia and countries of the Mekong Sub-region, including through the Mekong River Commission. Australia and Viet Nam are committed to promoting sustainable development of the Mekong sub-region through strengthening close cooperation in the areas of enhancing sub-regional connectivity and environmental protection.
3. Economic growth, trade and industry development
1. Australia and Viet Nam will continue to focus on collaboration based on mutual benefit, including ways to encourage greater private sector involvement in both countries’ economies.
2. Recognising that Australia and Viet Nam have complementary economies, both countries will develop and promote bilateral trade and investment in key sectors such as infrastructure and urban development, housing, transport and logistics, mining and energy, manufacturing, mechanical engineering, water and sanitation, food and agricultural products processing, agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, footwear, textiles, electronics, and financial, education, legal, telecommunications and other services. Australia and Viet Nam will encourage greater bilateral foreign direct investment.
3. Australia and Viet Nam are committed to continuing the exchange of information on standards, regulations, technical requirements for exporting and importing products, and the removal of unnecessary duplication of controls which will propel the economic ties between the two countries.
4. Australia and Viet Nam are committed to pursuing more open trade and investment, including through participation in the World Trade Organisation, APEC, Asia-Europe Meeting, and the Cairns Group and by implementation of the AANZFTA.
5. Australia and Viet Nam are committed to enhancing cooperation and will continue efforts to reach a prompt conclusion to the TPP and RCEP negotiations. Both nations recognise the economic benefits of these regional economic integration initiatives and their importance in facilitating participation in global supply chains. Both countries also recognise the importance of, and opportunities presented by, the ASEAN Economic Community.
6. Both countries recognise the importance of the private sector as a driver of job creation and economic growth. Australia and Viet Nam will work together to encourage greater private sector involvement in their respective economies, including by sharing experiences and knowledge on economic reform and policy issues. To this end, both countries recognise the importance of bilateral exchanges on issues such as structural reform, competition policy and market transparency, and the role these can play in promoting economic development.
7. Both countries recognise the importance of mutual recognition of qualifications and student and professional mobility in achieving these aims. Australia and Viet Nam will work bilaterally and in regional fora to address skills gaps and enhance the mobility of students, professionals and workers.
4. Development assistance
1. Australia recognises Viet Nam’s outstanding achievements in poverty reduction since the 1990s and its current development aspirations. Viet Nam highly appreciates the official development assistance that Australia has provided. Australia will continue to assist Viet Nam to implement its Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020), including through the three breakthrough areas of promoting human resources and skills development; improving market institutions; and infrastructure development.
2. Australia will continue to assist Viet Nam to take advantage of opportunities arising from integration into the regional and global economy. Australia will continue to help Viet Nam progress towards achieving its development aspirations, and its stated goal of becoming a basically modern oriented-industrialised country by 2020.
3. Australian assistance will continue to help build Viet Nam’s economic growth and resilience, and improve capacity to participate competitively in global trade. Australia will also support Viet Nam’s efforts to ensure that ongoing growth benefits the whole population, including women, children, the poor and the disadvantaged.
4. Australia and Viet Nam recognise the importance of economic diplomacy in the development of each country. Australia will support Viet Nam in implementing economic diplomacy through sharing experiences and capacity building activities.
5. Australia and Viet Nam will maintain regular ongoing dialogue on development assistance, to agree on priorities for assistance and review the progress and performance of our development cooperation.
5. Defence, law enforcement and security ties
1. Australia and Viet Nam will continue dialogue and cooperation on defence and security matters, including through the EAS and through annual Australia-Viet Nam Defence Ministers’ Meetings, the Australia-Viet Nam Strategic Dialogue, the Australia-Viet Nam Defence Cooperation Talks and the Australia-Viet Nam Defence 1.5 Track Dialogue.
2. Australia and Viet Nam will foster greater openness and cooperation in the defence relationship through continued personnel exchanges, officer training, and ship visits. Both countries will strengthen the exchange of views on regional and security issues of mutual concern by maintaining a programme of regular consultations and visits at civilian official and military levels.
3. Australia and Viet Nam will work together to achieve shared security goals through the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
4. Australia and Viet Nam will continue to work together in other areas such as aviation and maritime security, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, special forces and war legacy issues.
5. Australia and Viet Nam recognise the significant and increasing threat of transnational crime and the importance of increased information and intelligence exchange. Both countries are committed to strengthening cooperation to combat transnational crime in the region, including human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, money laundering and cyber crime.
6. Australia and Vietnam recognise other challenges such as food insecurity, natural resource management, and the risk of disease, pandemics and natural disasters. The two countries will work together bilaterally, and in international fora, to address such threats.
Signed in Canberra on the Eighteenth day of March of the year two thousand and fifteen (2015) in duplicate, in English and Vietnamese, all text being equally authentic:
Witnessed in Canberra on the Eighteenth day of March of the year two thousand and fifteen (2015).
For the Government of Australia:
For the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam:
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr Nguyen Van Nen
Minister, Chairman of Government Office
18 March 2015