Though 48 years is an odd anniversary to celebrate, Vietnam and Australia decided to commemorate the milestone for its occurrence during a difficult pandemic.
“We have seen 48 years of deep and continued cooperation across the many areas of our bilateral relationship," Australian Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City Julianne Cowley remarked at the ceremony this week.
"Our capacity to work together is enormous.
"Our partnership is full of potential and opportunities.
"I look forward to more years of prosperous cooperation to come.”
The Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City held a gala dinner to celebrate the 48th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Australia on Wednesday.
The event was an opportunity to reflect on the dynamic Vietnam-Australia partnership across economic, security, knowledge, and innovation sectors.
In her speech, Consul General Cowley emphasized that both countries “share a vision for a peaceful, inclusive, sovereign, and resilient region."
“COVID-19 has changed a lot, but it has not changed Australia's commitment to ASEAN,” she said, referring to the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Australia has dedicated A$10.5 million (US$8 million) to support the recovery of Vietnam from COVID-19, as well as pledging to support the Southeast Asian country’s access to safe and effective vaccines through the A$523 million ($398 million) Indo-Pacific vaccine and health security initiatives.
Agreeing with Consulate General Cowley, Tran Phuoc Anh, director general of Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of External Relations, further noted Australia and Vietnam’s mutual support at regional and international events to advocate for prosperity, peace, and development in the Indo-Pacific region.
“2020 is a testament to the dynamic development of our two countries’ relations,” Anh said.
“In the face of impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the natural disasters in central Vietnam [in October-December 2020], the Australian government has provided timely emergency aid for Vietnam to overcome the aftermath of flood and pledged vaccine supply for Vietnam through the Indo-Pacific vaccine and health security initiatives.”
After 48 years of diplomatic relationships, Vietnam and Australia enjoy a strong security partnership, including Australia’s support in transporting Vietnamese deployments to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan aboard a Royal Australian Air Force C-170 Hercules jet last month.
Both countries are strategic partners with a relationship built on mutual respect and deep two-way links.
With a trade and investment relationship of more than A$15 billion ($11.4 billion), the Australian and Vietnamese prime ministers committed to become top 10 trading partners and double two-way investment in 2019.
These goals will be supported by the newly announced A$232 million ($177 million) Mekong-Australia Partnership that will further spur economic integration and resilience across the five countries of the Mekong subregion.