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Reflections on the Australia-Việt Nam bilateral relationship



Australian Ambassador to Việt Nam, Robyn Mudie, writes this piece to Việt Nam News on Australian Day. 

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on the 26th of January, it is a day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary Australia and to acknowledge our history. It is an opportunity to ‘Reflect, Respect, and Celebrate’ with all Australians.

Despite the challenges of the past two years, we still take time this Australia Day to reflect upon our achievements and to highlight the strength and vitality of our growing bilateral relationship with Việt Nam.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a powerful reminder that our region is deeply interconnected and that our health, prosperity and resilience is a shared responsibility.

The health, humanitarian and economic consequences caused by COVID-19 have been devastating, and that’s why Australia has been working in close partnership with Việt Nam to address the impacts of the pandemic.

Ambassador Robyn Mudie and Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Quốc Phương at the official launch of the Australia – Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy on December 21, 2021. Courtesy Photo of the embassy 

Access to vaccines is fundamental to our region’s response to COVID-19. To this end, Australia is investing A$623 million through our Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative [A$523 million] and supporting the Quad Vaccine Partnership [A$100 million].

We have committed to sharing 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with the Indo-Pacific region. Of this, we’re delivering  7.8 million doses to Việt Nam.

We are also working in partnership with UNICEF in Việt Nam to support cold chain upgrades, training for healthcare workers, communications, and planning and implementation of the vaccine rollout in remote provinces. In 2021, this included the delivery of 1,910 refrigerators, 5 million syringes and 50,000 safety boxes.

As partners, Australia and Việt Nam have also been working together to create a prosperous and resilient future for our nations through major investments in economic, development and security measures.

Very early in the pandemic, we pivoted our development assistance program to respond to COVID. Our investments in Việt Nam in skills, gender, innovation, economic reform and infrastructure are geared towards creating sustainable, inclusive growth, which meets Việt Nam’s short, medium and long-term needs, particularly its vision for net-zero emissions by 2050 and to become a high-income country by 2045.

Việt Nam’s ambitions require all its citizens to have the potential to contribute to their full capacity. To that end, Australia continues to support women’s access to finance and trade opportunities, to work with Việt Nam to ensure its laws and policies are inclusive and to support gender equality at home and in the workplace.

We continue to work with Việt Nam sharing Australia’s experience and expertise on elevating women in leadership, with both countries committed to increasing women’s participation in politics and public administration.

We are deepening our longstanding bilateral relationships with Mekong countries, supporting economic integration and development in the sub-region through the A$232 million Mekong-Australia Partnership.

As part of this partnership, Australia is supporting Việt Nam to respond to climate change through the use of lower emissions farming technologies and water management. We have also accelerated our trade and investment engagement with Việt Nam. Last year we finalised the bilateral Australia-Việt Nam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy. This ambitious and unique strategy will unlock significant opportunities for businesses across our two countries, supporting our mutual goal to become top ten trading partners and double two-way investment.

Notably, this month, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership came into force. This is the world’s largest free trade agreement and will unlock a multitude of economic opportunities for both our countries.

Ambassador Robyn Mudie (left) and UNICEF’s representative in Việt Nam, Ms Rana Flowers at the vaccine store at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology. Courtesy Photo of the embassy

Finally, through Australia’s A$141 million Partnerships for Infrastructure programme, we are developing a pipeline of activities to support Vietnam’s energy transition. This includes support for the development of the offshore wind sector, for Việt Nam’s transition to a competitive energy market, and for the rollout of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Australia’s vision for the future of our region has ASEAN at its centre. In pursuit of this, I am proud that ASEAN agreed to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) with Australia at the first annual ASEAN-Australia Summit in October last year.

Partnerships are our greatest strategic asset, and the ASEAN-Australia CSP complements our strong bilateral ties across the region, including our long-standing bilateral relationship with Việt Nam.

We all want a region that embraces engagement and cooperation over coercion, that upholds the rights and sovereignty of countries, regardless of size or power. All countries – big and small – should be empowered to engage and prosper in an open, inclusive and rules-based environment.

We know that supporting our close partners in Southeast Asia is one of the best investments Australia can make in a stronger, more prosperous, and more secure future for our region.

As we celebrate Australia Day this year, I am pleased that the Strategic Partnership between Australia and Việt Nam has further strengthened over the past year, as I am sure it will continue to do in the year ahead.



Mural depicting VN, US’s friendship inaugurated




Painter Nguyễn Thu Thủy with the ceramic mural ‘Tình hữu nghị Việt Mỹ’ (US-Việt Nam Friendship). Photos courtesy of Nguyễn Thu Thủy

HÀ NỘI A ceramic mural, Tình hữu nghị Việt Mỹ (The Việt Nam-US Friendship), has been inaugurated at the new US-Việt Nam Co-operation Centre in Hà Nội.

The mural (25m by 1.8m) is by painter Nguyễn Thu Thủy and her staff at the Tân Hà Nội Company. Thủy is an author of the mural Ceramic Road by Red River.

The mural starts with the spectacular landscape of the Grand Canyon, a massive gorge located in the state of Arizona.

“The rocky mountain complex can change colours magically according to sunlight and weather. Sometimes the whole mountain area turns red and pink, sometimes everything turns purple. That magical phenomenon of nature has inspired many artists to express themselves in their paintings,” said Thủy.

She used colourful ceramic pieces to depict the changing colours of the Grand Canyon.

The mural also shows the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Empire State Building in New York. They are highlighted on the national flag of the US.

Other symbols monuments in the mural are the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, where the portraits of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are carved onto the granite surface.

On the other part of the mural, thousands of ceramic pieces are combined together to depict the fantastic view of Hạ Long Bay. It’s the highlight of the artwork along with images of the Temple of Literature, the lotus ponds of Hà Nội and the national flag of Việt Nam.

Painter Thủy also presented US Ambassador Marc E. Knapper with a water-coloure painting of the Grand Canyon, a draft she made before making the mural. According to Thủy, the mural serves as a bridge to enhance mutual understanding and strengthen friendship between the two countries.

According to Thủy, the mural will be a bridge to enhance mutual understanding and strengthen friendship between two countries. 

Receiving the painting, Ambassador Knapper said: “Việt Nam and the US proudly possessed two natural wonders, the Grand Canyon and Hạ Long Bay. I expect that these similarities in culture, landscape and history will help us enhance mutual understanding. Together we preserve and promote values favoured by nature.”

The US-Việt Nam Co-operation Centre is located at the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam (DAV), 69 Chùa Láng Street, Hà Nội.  




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Students say farewell to their high school years




Twelfth graders of the Việt Đức High School are pictured with their teacher on the graduation day. VNA/ Photos Thanh Tùng

The special school year of 2021-2022 has just ended, leaving many emotions among students, particularly the 12th graders.

They are both happy to be about to embark on a new journey of life but also sad to say farewell to their beloved school, teachers and friends with whom they have not unfortunately had much time to share due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I will desperately miss the short time my classmates and I spent studying together. Though we had three years of high school, we only had about a year and a half being together, due to the prolonged pandemic,” said Thanh Uyên from Phan Đình Phùng High School.

Another student, Nhật Minh, added: “We feel very sad when we have to say goodbye after such a short period of time. We hope we will always remember the good times studying together.”

This photo essay introduce to readers such emotional moments of 12th graders from the Việt Đức High School in Hà Nội on their graduation day.

This is their last time to attend the flag salute ceremony and sing the national anthem in their beloved high school. 


Some high school friendship might last a lifetime.


A student is seen writing memoirs on her classmate’s uniform.


It is a emotional moment to say farewell to their high schools, teachers and classmates to embark on a new chapter of life.





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New pact promotes Việt Nam-Europe fashion links



Alain Cany, EuroCham chairman and Lê Thị Quỳnh Trang, chairwoman of Việt Nam International Fashion Week and President of the Council of ASEAN Fashion Designers, sign a MoU on promoting culture, lifestyle, and fashion industry links between Việt Nam and European countries. Photo courtesy of Multimedia JSC

HCM CITY — Culture, lifestyle and fashion links between Việt Nam and Europe will be promoted under a Memorandum of Understanding signed this week by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham Vietnam) and the Aquafina Vietnam International Week (VIFW).

The signing has presented an opportunity for EuroCham and its affiliated national chambers to support the development of European companies both regionally and in Việt Nam, and to assist Vietnamese companies interested in expanding their European market.

It will also identify and promote the benefits of the EVFTA for both groups.

It will help Việt Nam’s fashion and culture reach out to the world as well, and create more business opportunities for Vietnamese designers and fashion brands in near future.

Alain Cany, Chairman of EuroCham Vietnam, said that many European fashion brands were famous around the world, so EuroCham would be an ideal partner of VIFW in connecting and bringing European businesses to Việt Nam for mutual development and a sustainable relationship.   

Lê Thị Quỳnh Trang, chairwoman of VIFW and president of the Council of ASEAN Fashion Designers, said on Tuesday the signing was not only a huge opportunity for Việt Nam’s fashion industry but also a new development journey for local and international businesses.

Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Mai, deputy general secretary of the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), said she also believed that the MoU would promote sustainable development of Việt Nam’s fashion and textile industries.

In a linked development, Prodotti Alfa, an Italian company producing regenerated leather and an eco-friendly material ideal for fashion, bookbinding, furniture and other industries, introduced its products at a seminar on sustainable materials in fashion held in HCM City on May 25.

The seminar, organised by Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam and VIFW, was a sideline event of the Aquafina Việt Nam International Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2022 that is taking place in the city until May 29. —



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