This is the first agreement that Australia has reached with other countries since it first announced its Agriculture Visa Program in 2021.
|Representatives from Viet Nam's Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs at the signing ceremony. (Photo: VNA)
The MoU was signed online by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Marise Payne and Vietnamese Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung.
In a statement released after the signing ceremony, Minister Payne described the MoU as a solid foundation in which to recruit Vietnamese labourers to work for agricultural enterprises in Australia.
Viet Nam’s early participation in the Australian Agriculture Visa Program has helped to strengthen people-to-people links between both countries and demonstrate the Morrison Government’s commitment to deepening cooperation under the Australia-Viet Nam Strategic Partnership, she emphasized.
For decades, Vietnamese workers, students, businesspeople, and tourists have made extensive contributions to Australia, she said, adding that the Australian Government looks forward to the scheme continuing.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Nguyen Tat Thanh expressed his hope that the MoU will mark the start of a sustainable co-operation process between both sides, including in the industrial and service sectors.
He noted that both the Vietnamese and Australian economies are highly complementary, particularly as both countries share intertwined interests.
The diplomat added that flourishing co-operation in education, training, and vocational training over the years will provide a basis for mutually-beneficial and comprehensive co-operation between the two countries, particularly in the labour field in the future.
Australia had decided to seal its border from March 2020, in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a shortage of workers, especially in the agricultural sector.
First launched in March 2020, the Australian Agriculture Visa Program is intended to provide a sustainable, long-term contribution to Australia’s labour supply that supports the Australian agricultural and primary industry sectors. It serves to supplement the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, which remains the mainstay for meeting agricultural workforce shortages in primary industries and represents a solution for future harvests.
Under the terms of the Australian Agriculture Visa Program, employees will be recruited to work across a range of agriculture sectors, including horticulture, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries and forestry, including support services and primary processing.