Vietnam ties never been stronger: Morrison

Scott Morrison has declared Australia’s relationship with Vietnam is at an all-time high as he prepares to make an historic visit to the Asian nation.

Mr Morrison will be the first Australian prime minister to make a stand-alone trip to Vietnam since 1994 when he arrives in Hanoi on Thursday.

He said the visit was part of his government’s continuing engagement with neighbours, partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific.

“Vietnam is one of the region’s economic success stories over the last decade and reflects the significant steps it has taken to liberalise its economy,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

“Our relationship with Vietnam has never been stronger.”

The meetings will focus on strengthening economic security and people-to-people cooperation, broadening the trade investment opportunities between the two countries.

Australia has free-trade partnerships with Vietnam through the ASEAN-Australian-New Zealand agreement and the 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Negotiations over the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are also ongoing.

“So I am looking forward to that meeting with Prime Minister Phuc,” he said.

Mr Morrison is expected to sit down with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for a one-on-one meeting on Friday.

AAP

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