Public Forum: Vietnam in the Indo-Pacific

On Friday 26 May 2023, the Perth USAsia Centre, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Canberra Fellowships Program, hosted the public forum Vietnam in the Indo-Pacific at the University of Western Australia.

This event featured leading foreign policy experts from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, including Vice President Dr Nguyen Hung Son and Assistant Director General for the Academy’s Institute of Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, Dr Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc. They were joined on the panel by the Head of the Asia-Africa Division for the Vietnam Ministry of National Defence’s Institute for International Defence Relations, Bui Thach Can; lecturer from Vietnam National University’s Faculty of International Studies, Nguyen Thuy Chi; and Perth USAsia Centre CEO Professor Gordon Flake.

As the Indo-Pacific experiences strategic uncertainty not seen since the end of WWII, Vietnam is playing an increasingly important role in the region’s security and prosperity. Global players including Lego, Samsung and Apple are investing in Vietnam, with the country’s gross domestic product growing by seven per cent in 2022.

2023 marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam, and five years since the signing of a bilateral Strategic Partnership agreement. As the relationship between the two countries continues to develop, there are significant opportunities to work together to shape the region, built on shared commitment to peace, stability and the rules-based order.

The panel discussed a broad range of topics, including Vietnam’s regional outlook, their growing role in the Indo-Pacific, and opportunities for the Australian-Vietnamese partnership including on education and training, as well as trade.

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