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Australia committed to providing Vietnam with 3.7 million more Covid vaccine doses

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on November 1 that the Australian Government is committed to providing Vietnam with a further 3.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

At a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland, the UK, Morrison said Australia will help Vietnam procure the vaccines through direct provision as well as partnership with the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund. The vaccines will support Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to fight off the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitate economic recovery.

Chinh thanked the Australian Government and the prime minister for providing Vietnam with the Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies during the pandemic, highlighting the close relationship between Australia and Vietnam. He said Australia’s assistance has helped Vietnam overcome difficulties during the pandemic and expected that Australia would continue to support Vietnam in the fight against Covid-19 in the coming time.

On October 28, Vietnam received 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from Australia. With this shipment, Australia has delivered on its commitment to share 1.5 million vaccine doses with Vietnam from Australia’s supply by the end of 2021.

With the additional 3.7 million doses Australia will help Vietnam procure, overall, Australia has committed to supply approximately 5.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic and promote economic recovery.

The two leaders also discussed bilateral cooperation and coordination in regional and international matters of mutual concern at the meeting.

Chinh said Vietnam attached special importance to the relationship with Australia and suggested that the two countries boost bilateral trade and business connections to help two-way trade reach US$15 billion and double the two-way investment soon.

The Vietnamese prime minister proposed that Australia increase the imports of farm produce and other products from Vietnam and continue supporting Vietnam in traffic infrastructure, climate change, digital transformation and renewable energy development.

Morrison said the Australian Government would join hands with Vietnam to promote bilateral cooperation sustainably. He invited Vietnam to attend a clean energy supply chain summit to be hosted by Australia in 2022.

Besides, Australia will provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students and create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese living and working in Australia.

Regarding regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two countries will maintain close cooperation at multilateral forums, ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the seas and oceans, including the East Sea, in accordance with international law.

Prime Minister Chinh took the occasion to invite his Australian counterpart to visit Vietnam soon and Morrison accepted the invitation.

In related news, Australia and Vietnam have launched the Vietnam-Australia Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Network as part of Aus4Innovation’s agenda to support the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in Vietnam.

AI is believed to play an essential role in socio-economic recovery post-Covid, helping economies become more agile and productive. With the popularization of digital transformation in Vietnam, AI development has been emphasized and strategically planned out by the Government.

This network is an initiative of the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology. It consists of individuals, businesses and organizations working on AI in Vietnam cooperating with Australian experts and institutions. The network will create opportunities for members to collaborate with Australian partners and stay updated on the AI situation in Vietnam, Australia and the world.

Addressing the Vietnam-Australia AI Forum – the first official event organized by the network – last week, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam Mark Tattersall reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to work with the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology to drive forward the innovation partnership between the two countries. The event drew the participation of speakers from 20 leading enterprises, organizations, institutes and communities in AI and ICT from Vietnam and Australia.

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