In the afternoon of August 26 2021, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, Member of the Politburo, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA), Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council hosted a meeting in Hanoi with H.E. Ms. Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam.
Attending the meeting were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Duong Trung Y, Vice President of the Academy; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Assistant to Politburo Member, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council; leaders of the Department of International Cooperation, Department of Training Management, Institute of Human Rights, Centre for Gender Studies and Women’s Leadership (GeLead), Centre for Global Knowledge Sharing.
Australia pledges to support Vietnam in the fight against Covid-19
Discussing the significant impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Vietnam to date, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang thanked and appreciated the Australian Government for its early support in Vietnam’s epidemic prevention and control activities; its commitment to providing AUD 40 million for Vietnam to access COVID-19 vaccines; and for donating 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine made in Australia. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang emphasised that this affirms the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership that was established in 2018.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang affirmed that the strategic partnership between the two countries is increasingly reliable, practical and in-depth, and that in fact key pillars under this partnership have already been put into practice and positive results have been achieved.
Despite complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of 2020, the interactions between the two countries, such as the recent a phone call between Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Prime Minister Scott Morrison; the signing of the Strategic Partnership Action Plan for the period of 2020-2023; the bilateral import – export turnover of USD 8 billion in 2020 (increased by nearly 5% compared to 2019), have been maintained. In the meantime, the third pillar, i.e. knowledge sharing and innovation partnership, has been promoted through numerous cooperation activities.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie expressed her admiration for Vietnam and Vietnamese people in their resilient fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. She emphasised Australia’s strong commitment to support Vietnam in Covid-19 prevention and control by advising that the first 403,000 doses of the 1.5 million doses of the vaccines Australia pledged to support Vietnam will be delivered to Ho Chi Minh City on the evening of August 26 2021.
Ambassador Robyn Mudie affirmed that this is part of the Australian Government’s overall support for Vietnam, and that Vietnam’s recovery, particularly economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will play a very important role in the stability and prosperity of Southeast Asia. Therefore, in addition to the committed AUD 40 million to improve access to vaccines for Vietnam, Australia also pledged to provide a further AUD 100 million through the Quad Vaccine Partnership and a contribution of AUD 130 million to the COVAX vaccine sharing mechanism to create favorable conditions for countries in the region, including Vietnam, to access Covid-19 vaccines.
Knowledge sharing and innovation partnership pillar
Regarding the pillars of cooperation within the framework of the Australia-Vietnam bilateral strategic partnership, Ms. Robyn Mudie said that the pillar of knowledge sharing and innovation partnership serves as an important ground for strengthened cooperation between the Australian Embassy and the Academy over the past years. Ambassador Robyn Mudie acknowledges the achievements as a result of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the HCMA’s GeLead and the Aus4Skills Program during 2017-2020; the results of the project on “Incorporating human rights into curricula across the national education system” implemented by the Academy and the Australian Commission on Human Rights during 2019-2021; the pilot on inviting Australian experts to lecture on extra-curricular topics at the Academy’s high-level political theory courses; the results of joint research on “A feminist institutional approach to Vietnamese women’s participation in leadership and management”.
In sharing the challenges and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambassador Robyn Mudie highly appreciated the HCMA’s efforts in implementing cooperation activities, including the research project on “Mapping Vietnam’s industries – Implications for regional connectivity and national development strategy“; especially the establishment of Vietnam Australia Centre which serves as an important platform to promote knowledge sharing and innovation between Vietnam and Australia in the future.
Agreeing with the statement of Ambassador Robyn Mudie, Politburo Member, the President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council affirmed that the on-going Vietnam-Australia cooperation programs/projects are very meaningful to Vietnam. The project on incorporating human rights into the national education curriculum will contribute to improving human rights education programs for researchers and teachers, and in developing Vietnam’s teaching materials according to international standards, while the project on mapping Vietnam’s industries makes an important contribution to local economic development, the development and successful implementation of industrial strategies and policies at sub-national and national levels.
Regarding the Vietnam – Australia Centre, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang shared that the Academy has received feedback from the Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, the Office of the Government, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In general, relevant ministries, agencies, departments, and branches all agree with and support the establishment of the Vietnam Australia Centre.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang affirmed that the implementation of this project is consistent with the Joint Statement dated August 23, 2019 between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and in accordance with the document of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam on continued human resource development with a focus on training and fostering personnel at strategic levels. The project aims to help Vietnam access and use professional and technical knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and to strengthen the Vietnam- Australia relationship.
Enhancing training and capacity building for the next generation of leaders
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang stated that Vietnam aims to surpass the status as a low-middle-income country by 2025. To reach the upper-middle-income status without falling into the middle-income trap, Vietnam needs to improve the capacity and performance of the public sector. Therefore, cooperation in human resource development in international standards is very important and relevant to Vietnam’s current context. This is also in line with Vietnam’s efforts to place people at the centre of the country’s development and to leave no one behind.
Given Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and in relations with Vietnam, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang affirmed the important factors in cooperation between the two countries: first, political trust; second, the promotion of the development of a stable Vietnam that plays an increasingly important role in the region; and third, the implementation of strategic breakthroughs, including human resource, by 2025 when Vietnam is expected to surpass low middle income status. Therefore, the Vietnam-Australia Centre will help Vietnam take advantage of Australia’s expertise and experience in training and building capacity of future generations of leaders, deepening people-to-people links and the cooperation between ministries and branches from the two countries, and affirming the trust in Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang affirmed the important role of the Australian Embassy in the establishment of the Vietnam – Australia Centre. He expected that the Australian Embassy will continue to play an important role in bringing Vietnam – Australia bilateral partnership to the next level through specific action programs, capitalising on Australia’s strengths to help Vietnam overcome the low-middle-income trap, promote innovations, especially the current digitalisation process.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie thanked Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang for what he shared. The Ambassador believed that the Vietnam-Australia partnership will grow stronger and more in-depth towards the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations (26 February 1973 – 26 February 2023). She affirmed that the Vietnam Australia Centre will soon be established and put into operation, making practical contributions to the Australia – Vietnam strategic partnership and to the development of Vietnam.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang and Ambassador Robyn Mudie agreed to assign task forces to continue working closely to quickly reach a consensus on the key issues concerning the establishment of the Vietnam Australia Centre at Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.
Ms. Mudie is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently the founding Executive Director of the Diplomatic Academy. She has previously served overseas as Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives; Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Geneva); First Secretary, UN Permanent Mission, New York; and Second Secretary, Hanoi. In Canberra Ms Mudie has served as Assistant Secretary, Public Diplomacy Branch; Assistant Secretary, Information Resources Branch; and Director, Strategic Policy Section.
Ms. Mudie holds a Master of Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hull; Bachelor of Arts (Honours), from the University of Adelaide; and a Graduate Diploma (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from the Australian National University. Ms. Mudie is a Vietnamese speaker who studied Vietnamese language at the RAAF School of Languages (1992), the Hanoi University of Foreign Languages (1993) and the Diplomatic Academy (2019).
Written by: Manh Thang & Minh Hang
Source: Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) Portal