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Significance of Viet Nam's comprehensive strategic partnerships

VGP – Australia has become the 7th comprehensive strategic partner of Viet Nam after Russia, China, India, South Korea, the United States, and Japan.

March 12, 2024 8:46 AM GMT+7
Significance of Viet Nam's comprehensive strategic partnerships- Ảnh 1.

Australian professor Carlyle Thayer. Photo: VNA

Commenting on the historic move in the bilateral ties between Viet Nam and Australia, Australian professor Carlyle Thayer said the elevation of Australia's bilateral relations with Viet Nam is the logical evolution of fifty years of diplomatic relations that proceeded in stages as both sides increased strategic trust, including recognizing the legitimacy of their different political systems and developed a closer convergence of views on future regional security issues.

In July 2023, when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made an official visit to Viet Nam, he stated that he wanted Viet Nam to become one of Australia's top tier partners in the region. The agreement on comprehensive strategic partnership signals that both sides share this objective. Australia now joins six other countries in Viet Nam's top tier – Russia, China, India, South Korea, United States, and Japan, noted Carlyle Thayer.

The significance of this partnership is that it binds the two nations to jointly meet an array of common challenges such as sustainable development, climate change, environmental protection, and innovation through energy transition to a green economy and digital transformation, he said.

Why Australia sees Viet Nam as an important partner?

According to professor Carlyle Thayer, here are three major reasons why Australia sees Viet Nam as an important partner.

First, Viet Nam is firmly committed to ASEAN as a regional organization and plays a greater role in ASEAN's development that some of ASEAN's original founders. Viet Nam is politically stable, independent and far-sighted strategically.

Second, Australia and Viet Nam are among each other's top ten trading partners whose economies are complimentary.

Third, there is a strong people-to-people connection.

New and key contents of the Joint Statement on elevation to comprehensive strategic partnership between Viet Nam and Australia

Carlyle Thayer said: Before turning to the bilateral relationship, it must be noted that Australia became ASEAN's comprehensive strategic partner in 2021.

The recently concluded ASEAN-Australia Summit issued the Melbourne Declaration outlining comprehensive cooperation in a number of areas including trade and investment, economic transition to a digital economy, environmental protection and sustainable development, and mitigating climate change. Viet Nam, as a member of ASEAN, will benefit from new initiatives launched by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The newly signed comprehensive strategic partnership comprises six major areas of cooperation: deepening political, defense security and justice cooperation; enhancing economic engagement; building knowledge and connecting people; strengthening climate, environment and energy cooperation; supporting science and technology, innovation and developing digital transformation; and reinforcing regional and international cooperation.

The new priority areas of cooperation include: trade and investment, technology, environment, green economy, energy transition, digital economy, climate change, sustainable development in the Mekong Sub-Region, and maritime security cooperation. All of these area will see increased funding for human resource development.

In the trade and investment area, Australia will set up a "Landing hub" in Ho Chi Minh City to facilitate investment and trade. Defense and security cooperation will expand to include defense industry, maritime security, information and intelligence sharing, strengthening maritime cooperation, and enhancing cooperation in cyber-security and critical technology including cyber security capacity building initiatives to address cyber security threats.

In the security and justice area, an annual dialogue will be raised to ministerial level. Maritime security will be expanded to deal with marine sustainability. Technology cooperation will extend from digital transformation and green economy to agricultural production.

Since the 1990s, Viet Nam has set the goal of "multilateralizing and diversifying" its external relations. Now Viet Nam has comprehensive strategic partnerships with seven of the major global powers. This will insulate Viet Nam to a certain extent from major power rivalry and competition and pressure to choose sides.

More significantly, the new partnerships will assist Viet Nam in reaching its goal of becoming a modern industrial economy by 2040 with a moderately high income, said Carlyle Thayer./.