VIETNAM – AUSTRALIA RELATIONS
1/ Political Relations:
- Vietnam and Australia established diplomatic relations on 26 February 1973. The embassies were set up in each country.
- The bilateral relations have developed and expanded widely in many fields since 1991.
- The two countries held the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relation in 2003.
a. Vietnamese leaders’ visits to Australia:
+ Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet (May 1993)
+ Party General Secretary Do Muoi (July 1995)
+ Chairman of National Assembly Nong Duc Manh (August 1998)
+ Vice President Truong My Hoa (October 2006)
+ Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam (February 1995; February 1997; September 2000)
+ Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien (February 2004)
+ Defense Minister Pham Van Tra (March 2004)
+ Public Security Minister Le Hong Anh (July 2007)
b. Australian leaders’ visits to Vietnam:
+ Prime Minister Paul Keating (April 1994)
+ Governor-General Bill Hayden (April 1995)
+ Prime Minister John Howard (November 2006)
+ Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Tom Fisher (August 1996)
+ Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (July 1996; July 1997; April 1998; May 2000; July 2001; August 2003)
+ Governors of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, North Australia.
2/ Economic relations:
- In terms of trade: The two way trade turnover has been increasing gradually from 32.3 US$ million in 1990 to 3.06 US$ billion in 2005. Vietnam is always in trade surplus (the volume of Vietnam export is 2.57 US$ billion and import is 498.5 US$ million). In 2006, the two-way trade volume reached 4.75 US$ billion (Vietnam export was 3.65 US$ billion and import was 1.1 US$ billion).
At present, Australia is the 7th biggest trade partner and the 4th largest market of Vietnam (following US, Japan and China). Vietnam exports to Australia crude oil, sea products, cashew nuts, timber products, lacquer ware, coffee, footwear, rice, rubber and textile. Vietnam imports cereals, food processing machines, ships, medicines, metals, steel and chemicals.
- In terms of investment: the inflow of Australian investment to Vietnam is quite remarkable both in capital and effectiveness. By 5th January 2007, Australia had 123 investment projects in Vietnam with a total capital of nearly 700 US$ million. The projects are mainly in the form of 100% foreign capital and joint ventures, concentrating on the following fields: processing industries, consultation and service, property trading, training and education. The majority of Australian investors in Vietnam operate in Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding rapidly developed provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau.
- Official Development Aid - ODA: Australian ODA resumption was in October 1991. However, the large-scale ODA started only since 1994. The total amount in the period of 1994 - 1998 and 1998 - 2002 was 43.6 AU$ million. In the fiscal year of 2003-2004, ODA was 72.1 AU$ million and increasing gradually 4 AU$ million per year; in 2006-2007 is 81.5 AU$ million.
Vietnam ranks 4th in Australia’s ODA recipients. Australia aid concentrates on some priority fields such as human resource development, agricultural and rural development, health, State management efficiency and support in integration into the world economy. The ODA has been mainly located in the Cuu Long rural areas and along the seaside areas of the Central of Vietnam.
3. The signed agreements:
- Agreement on Post Cooperation
- Agreement on Trade and Economics
- Agreement on Investment’s Promotion and Protection
- Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance
- Agreement on Air Services.
- Agreement on Consulate.
And nearly 100 MOU signed, such as:
- MOU on Development Cooperation (May 1993)
- MOU on Science and Technology Cooperation (September 1992)
- MOU on Environment (1997)
- MOU on Sports (1999)
- MOU on Education (April 1994)
- MOU on the re-admittance citizens who are expelled due to breaches of Australian law (June 2001)
- MOU on the Immigration (2001)
- MOU on Social Services (2002)
- MOU in the Transport Sector (March 2007)
4/ Mechanisms for cooperation:
- Vietnam - Australia Joint Commission on Economic and Trade (March 1991)
- Regional Security Dialogues between two Foreign Ministries (At Deputy ministerial level - 1997)
- Human Rights Dialogue (At departmental level between two Foreign Ministries and some relating Ministries - 2002)
- Consular Consultation between two Foreign Ministries (At departmental level - 2002).