Regional strategic relationships strengthened through dialogue

Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner Michael Outram APM has visited Vietnam, meeting with counterparts to bolster important partnerships across border and civil maritime security domains.

This week’s visit (7-8 May 2024) is the first by an ABF Commissioner since 2016, and included high-level meetings with Vietnam Customs, Vietnam Coast Guard, Border Guard Command and the Ministry of Public Security, fostering these relationships and affirming the ABF’s interest in continuing close cooperation.

The strong bilateral partnership with Vietnam continues to grow with the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in March 2024, and the establishment of an ABF post in Hanoi in July 2023.

As part of the visit, the Commissioner signed the Investigation Cooperation Plan, which aims to increase cooperation and information sharing between ABF and Vietnam Customs, and the Letter of Intent to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance cooperation, mutual assistance and strengthen and promote the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Vietnam’s Border Guard Command.

Commissioner Outram noted that by working together, regional partners can achieve greater outcomes, combat transnational crime and ensure the prosperity of nations in the region.

“The Australia and Vietnam CSP has elevated our bilateral ties, including strengthening our maritime and border-related cooperation. The CSP also demonstrates our mutual commitment to deepening practical benefits and cooperation with each other,” the Commissioner said.

“The Australian Border Force looks forward to increasing our cooperation and engagement with our counterparts in Vietnam, forging links and learning from each other.

“For example, we have been pleased to support Vietnam Customs with a number of training opportunities including English Language Training, the Asia-Pacific Customs Leadership Program, and the funding of Vietnam Customs officers to attend the Australian Border Force Detector Dog Programme’s International Education Workshop in Melbourne this month.

“The ABF is also committed to negotiating MOUs with the Vietnam Coast Guard and Border Guard Command, which will further deepen our cooperation.”

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