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Prime Ministers talk education, trade and economy in Vietnam

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the Honourable Scott Morrison met with leading Australian businesses operating in Vietnam this week, with discussions focused on strengthening relationships, regional trade and investment.

As Australia’s largest services investment in Vietnam, RMIT has supported the country’s economic priorities and the development of the region for more than 19 years.

Speaking at an event with the Australian Prime Minister and businesses on Thursday night, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE said he was proud that RMIT’s continued positive presence and impact was being recognised by such an important audience.

"As the leading foreign university, RMIT has supported Vietnam’s economic priorities and the positive development of the region for nearly two decades," he said.

"At RMIT we know the skills and fundamentals that will equip today’s students to thrive in the future world of work - and preparing them for an unknown tomorrow must be seen as a regional priority.

"It is certainly RMIT’s highest priority and deepest expertise - and we’re proud to bring this to bear in Vietnam. We’re also privileged to play a part in the country’s digital journey."

Morrison said Australia and the world faced uncertain times and global economic headwinds.

"Our engagement with our family, neighbours and international partners is more important than ever.

"The visit reflects my Government’s commitment to deepening Australia’s relations with Southeast Asia."

The University has established itself as an emerging authority on blockchain in Vietnam and its Centre of Digital Excellence has continued to work at various levels of government and across businesses to fill digital innovation gaps.

RMIT has also continued to work with the Vietnamese Government on law enforcement and border security issues.

Thanks to these productive collaborations, the Vice-Chancellor was invited to speak with Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam while he was in-country.

This week RMIT also announced a new partnership with VietJet - Vietnam’s largest airline - as well as an education partnership with the Vietnam Grand Prix from 2020.

2020 is shaping up as a significant year, with Vietnam hosting its first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in a decade and RMIT Vietnam also celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Australia and Vietnam are free trade partners through the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they are having ongoing negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Morrison said the two-way trade was growing strongly, having grown by nearly 11 per cent per annum over the last five years to reach $14.5 billion in 2018.

The Vice-Chancellor said RMIT looked forward to continuing its work with the Vietnamese Government and in collaboration with the Australian Government on domestic and regional policy challenges.

"It’s an honour to be woven into the fabric of today’s Vietnam. The country’s energy, diversity, challenge and change is so very RMIT," he said.

"We’re committed to playing a meaningful role in its bright future, to producing graduates of the highest calibre and creating lasting partnerships that make a difference."

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