Australia and Vietnam reach an agreement to boost supplies of essential minerals

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The partnership will support expanded cooperation on a range of issues, including climate, environment and energy.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that his country is raising its relations with Vietnam to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership, through an annual dialogue on minerals, amid an effort to diversify supply chains away from China.

At a press conference in Canberra, Albanese said: “Elevating our relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership today makes Australia and Vietnam important partners for each other.”

The improvement in relations represents the latest success for communist-ruled Vietnam's “bamboo diplomacy” after last year it strengthened its ties with major world powers as it tries to overcome rising global tensions.

The official Vietnam News Agency reported Thursday that “mutual political trust between the two countries has risen to the highest level in its history.”

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The relationship between countries

The partnership will support expanding cooperation on a range of issues, including climate, environment, energy, defence, security, economic engagement and education, according to a joint statement from the two countries.

Al-Albani and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also witnessed the exchange of 12 cooperation documents in areas such as energy, minerals, agriculture, banking and financial services, according to the Vietnamese government.

Australia is the main supplier of coal to Vietnam, which relies heavily on fossil fuels for power generation. Australian coal shipments to Vietnam rose 17% last year to 20 million metric tons, accounting for 39% of Vietnam's total coal imports.

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In addition to Australia, Vietnam's main partners are the United States, China, India, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

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