Vietnam country brief
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) is one of the world's few remaining one-party communist states. Political power lies with the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
The Party's peak organ, the sixteen-member Politburo, holds authority over the implementation of all major areas of policy. The Politburo is elected by the Party's Central Committee. Day-to-day policy guidance comes from the ten-member Secretariat to the Central Committee, which comprises some Politburo and Central Committee members. The Central Committee considers important policy issues several times per year, and five-yearly Party Congresses ratify major policy changes.
The Eleventh Party Congress was held in January 2011 and resulted in the election of a new Politburo and Central Committee. Nguyen Phu Trong was elected as General Secretary by Central Committee, replacing Nong Duc Manh.
Administration and policy implementation is the responsibility of government ministries and equivalent agencies, although these organisations are now also playing a more significant role in policy development. In recent years, the National Assembly has become increasingly active and influential in setting national priorities, with members prepared to criticise the Government vigorously.
The increasing role of the National Assembly in reviewing legislation and policies and a gradually more incisive media have contributed to greater transparency in Vietnam, but there are limits to dissent. Individuals can incur long prison terms on broadly framed charges, such as espionage or undermining national security and propagandising against the state. Notwithstanding some recent responsiveness on the part of the Vietnamese authorities on questions of religious freedom, several high-profile arrests and trials over recent years have brought the international spotlight back onto Vietnam's one-party political system and management of diverse political views.
Head of State and Government Ministry
- State President: Truong Tan SANG
- State Vice-President: Nguyen Thi DOAN, Mme
- Prime Minister: Nguyen Tan DUNG
- Deputy Prime Minister: Hoang Trung HAI
- Deputy Prime Minister: Nguyen Thien NHAN
- Deputy Prime Minister: Vu Van NINH
- Deputy Prime Minister: Nguyen Xuan PHUC
- Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development: Cao Duc PHAT
- Minister of Construction: Trinh Dinh DUNG
- Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism: Hoang Tuan ANH
- Minister of Education and Training: Pham Vu LUAN
- Minister of Finance: Dinh Tien DUNG
- Minister of Foreign Affairs: Pham Binh MINH
- Minister of Home Affairs: Nguyen Thai BINH
- Minister of Industry and Trade: Vu Huy HOANG
- Minister of Information and Communications: Nguyen Bac SON
- Minister of Justice: Ha Hung CUONG
- Minister of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare: Pham Thi Hai CHUYEN
- Minister of National Defense: Phung Quang THANH, Gen.
- Minister of Natural Resources and Environment: Nguyen Minh QUANG
- Minister of Planning and Investment: Bui Quang VINH
- Minister of Public Health Nguyen: Thi Kim TIEN
- Minister of Public Security: Tran Dai QUANG, Lt. Gen.
- Minister of Science and Technology: Nguyen QUAN
- Minister of Transport: Dinh La THANG
- Government Inspector-General: Huynh Phong TRANH
- Chairman, Office of the Government: Vu Duc DAM
- Chairman, State Ethnic Minorities Committee: Giang Seo PHU
- Governor, State Bank: Nguyen Van BINH
Politburo XI of the Communist Party of Vietnam (2011-2016)
- Truong Tan SANG, President of Vietnam
- Phung Quang THANH, Minister of National Defence
- Nguyen Tan DUNG, Prime Minister
- Nguyen Sinh HUNG, Chairman of the National Assembly
- Le Hong ANH, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat
- Le Thanh HAI, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee
- To Huy RUA, Director of the Central Committee’s Organisation Commission
- Nguyen Phu TRONG, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam
- Pham Quang NGHI, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee
- Tran Dai QUANG, Minister of Public Security
- Tong Thi PHONG, Vice Chair of the National Assembly
- Ngo Van DU, Chairman of the Central Commission for Inspection
- Dinh The HUYNH, Director of the Central Committee’s Propaganda and Education Commission
- Nguyen Xuan PHUC, Deputy Prime Minister
- Nguyen Thien NHAN, Deputy Prime Minister
- Nguyen Thi Kim NGAN, Vice Chair of the National Assembly
The bilateral relationship – political and social
Australia and Vietnam marked the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations on 26 February 2013. Bilateral links between Australia and Vietnam have developed significantly since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973. In September 2009 the two countries signed the Australia - Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership. The Plan of Action, signed in October 2010, provides a basis for engagement and cooperation in diverse areas of mutual interest.
The Vietnamese community in Australia
In the 2011 Census, 221 114 people claimed Vietnamese ancestry. The first major wave of Vietnamese migration to Australia started in the mid-1970s, with the arrival of large numbers of refugees following the end of the Vietnam War. In more recent years the vast majority of Vietnamese migrants have come to Australia through the Family Stream although there are growing numbers of skilled migrants. Today the Vietnam-born represent the fifth largest migrant community in Australia, and after the United States of America, Australia is the second most common destination for Vietnamese migrants. The environment in Vietnam since the advent of doi moi (renovation) has encouraged many Vietnamese expatriates to revisit their former homeland.
Further statistical information on the Vietnamese community in Australia can be found on the Country Profiles page of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Defence, police relations and regional security
Formal defence relations between Australia and Vietnam were established in February 1998, with the opening of a Defence Attaché Office at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi occurring in 1999. Vietnam's first Defence Attaché to Australia took up his appointment in Canberra in September 2000.
The bilateral defence relationship includes: regular Australian Defence Force ship visits to Vietnamese ports; training of Vietnamese military officers in Australia under the bilateral Defence Cooperation Program; and visits between Australian and Vietnamese senior Defence Force officials. In October 2010, Australia and Vietnam signed a bilateral MOU on Defence Cooperation at the inaugural ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting- Plus held in Hanoi. During his visit to Vietnam in August 2012, former Australian Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith and Vietnamese Minister of National Defense General Phung Quang Thanh, agreed Vietnam and Australia should take further practical steps to enhance the defence relationship and to progress a range of bilateral defence initiatives, including the establishment of an Annual Defence Ministers' Dialogue. The Inaugural Australia-Vietnam Defence Ministers’ Meeting was held in Canberra on 19 March 2013.
Australia and Vietnam have also held a senior officials-level bilateral Regional Security Dialogue since 1998. This was upgraded in February 2012, when the inaugural Joint Foreign Affairs/Defence Australia-Vietnam Strategic Dialogue was held in Canberra at Deputy-Secretary/Vice-Minister level. Australia and Vietnam also conduct annual Australia-Vietnam Defence Cooperation Senior Officials' talks.
The Australian Federal Police maintains Law Enforcement Liaison Offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Education and training
Australia is a leading study destination for Vietnamese students, with more than 22,000 student enrolments in Australian education institutions and an estimated 10,000 students undertaking Australian education and training courses in Vietnam.
Australia collaborates on many education and training initiatives with Vietnam, including policy dialogue in areas such as quality assurance, qualification recognition and vocational education; facilitating institution-to-institution partnerships; and supporting vibrant Australian alumni associations. The Joint Working Group on Education and Training was established as part of the enhanced education cooperation under the Australia-Vietnam Plan of Action 2010-2013. The first meeting of the Joint Working Group was held in Canberra on 2-3 March 2011.
Australia is the leading government provider of scholarships to Vietnamese students, with 498 Australia Awards offered in 2013. The Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. They offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and for high-achieving Australians to do the same overseas.
Australia's approach to human rights in Vietnam
Australia and Vietnam have held formal human rights talks regularly since 2002. The tenth round of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue took place on 17 June 2013 in Canberra.
Australia’s delegation included Members of Parliament, the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, and senior officials from a range of Government agencies.
The two delegations were able to engage in frank discussion about freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of information in Vietnam, including specific cases of concern, as well as underscoring Australia’s concern about the severity of sentencing for democracy activists and Australia’s opposition to the death penalty.
Australia also welcomed improvements in some areas and encouraged implementation of these gains, particularly in relation to legal reforms and gender equality.
Australia welcomed the Vietnamese delegation’s agreement to meet a number of representatives from human rights NGOs.
The 11th bilateral Human Rights Dialogue is scheduled to be held in Vietnam in 2014.
Vietnam and Australia introduced a program of technical cooperation on human rights in 2006. The program, administered by the Australian Human Rights Commission and funded by the Australian Government, provides opportunities to foster practical cooperation between institutions with human rights responsibilities and expertise. Australia has also funded programs in Vietnam under the Human Rights Grants Scheme.
Australia also raises human rights at senior levels with the Vietnamese government, at appropriate opportunities.
Australia plays a constructive role at the UN Human Rights Council, including through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The UPR provides a forum for constructive discussion of human rights situations in all UN member states, including Vietnam, and identifies practical steps to address specific human rights concerns.
Australia was an active participant in Vietnam’s UPR review in 2009 and will be again at Vietnam’s next review in 2014.
Australia's development cooperation program with Vietnam
In 2012–13, Australia will provide $153.1 million in official development assistance to Vietnam. This will increase to an estimated $159.1 million in 2013-14, making Australia Vietnam’s sixth largest donor.
The Australia – Vietnam Joint Aid Program Strategy (2010-2015) guides Australia’s aid to Vietnam in priority areas of human resource development, economic integration and environmental sustainability.
The Australia Awards program builds on more than 35 years of investment in improving the credentials of Vietnam’s workforce. The scholarship program has provided 1293 long-term and 656 short-term awards from 2007–12.
In October 2010, Australia announced it would commit $160 million for the construction of the Cao Lanh Bridge which would assist Vietnam to construct the infrastructure necessary for strong national and regional economic integration.
Addressing climate change and ensuring environmental sustainability will ensure that the development gains achieved by Vietnam are not undone. Australia is supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Mekong Delta. Australian support is also helping the Government of Vietnam to adopt better planning and implementation approaches for providing rural water supplies and sanitation.
For further details about Australia's development assistance program in Vietnam, see Australian Aid.
Vietnam has been in transition from a centrally-planned to a 'socialist oriented market economy' since the introduction of the doi moi reforms in 1986. In the early-to-mid 1990s, liberalisation measures resulted in rapidly expanding exports and high economic growth, with real GDP growth averaging 9 per cent per year. Growth slowed in the late 1990s, but the momentum picked up, with GDP growth averaging about 7 per cent per year since 2001, reaching a high of 8.5 per cent in 2007. Poverty rates are now less than 20 per cent, down from almost 60 per cent in the early 1990s.
Performance and outlook
The General Statistics Office announced at the end of 2012 that Vietnam’s GDP increased by 5.03%. This was the lowest rate of growth since 1999 and was below previous targets for 2012. Exports performed well in 2012, giving Vietnam a net boost in this category. So far this year, Vietnam recorded a rare trade surplus of around USD 100 million. The trade deficit in 2011 was USD 9.5 billion. 2012 merchandise exports to October were 19 per cent higher (USD 83.8 billion) than they were at in October 2011, this has been largely driven by foreign investor-led intensive manufacturing industries like electronic products, vehicles and apparel.
The governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Nguyen Van Binh, announced in September 2012 that non-performing loans stood at 8.8% of total lending (valued at more than USD 10.5 billion). The fallout from this high rate of non-performing loans, especially in the State Owned Sector which dominates the Vietnamese economy, continues to be a drag on economic activity. Concerns about Vietnam’s banking system led rating agency Moody’s to downgrade the country’s sovereign credit rating on 28 September 2012 from B1 to B2. It also downgraded eight Vietnamese banks’ credit ratings. The Communist Party has however identified banking reform as a key pillar of the economic restructuring program it announced in 2012.
International trade, investment and remittances
Goods and services exports now constitute over 80 per cent of Vietnam's GDP up from a 30 per cent share recorded in the mid-1990s. Vietnam's major exports are crude petroleum, telecommunications equipment, rice, rubber, footwear, coffee, jewellery articles, fish and furniture. The US remains Vietnam’s largest export market (18 per cent), followed by the EU (17 per cent), ASEAN (15 per cent) and Japan (12 per cent). Australia is the seventh largest export market at 2.6 per cent in 2011.
Vietnam's major imports are refined petroleum products, telecommunications equipment, electronic circuits, iron and steel, gold, medicaments, chemicals, plastics and textile and garment inputs (Source: Global Trade Atlas). China was the biggest exporter of products to Vietnam as at October 2012, accounting for 25 per cent of all imports into the country, up by 17 per cent compared to October 2011. Australia was the twelfth largest import source in 2011 at 2 per cent.
Vietnam attracted 28 per cent less foreign direct investment (USD 9.5 billion) in the first three quarters of 2012 for the same period in 2011. Most new investors (61 per cent) were Japanese.
Economic and corporate reform
Since 2000, Vietnam's Enterprise Law has fostered the creation of over 200,000 registered private domestic enterprises, accounting for around 10 per cent of the economy and a smaller proportion of the labour force. Over time, the Enterprise Law (2005) and Investment Law (2005), which came into effect in 2006, are gradually contributing to an improved business environment and a more 'level playing field' in most economic sectors. The challenge for the Government will be to maintain the pace of economic and corporate reform in the face of pressures arising from the global financial crisis.
In the early 1990s, shortly after Vietnam's economic reform process began, Vietnam started a program to equitise (semi-privatise) its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as part of an effort to improve the competitiveness of the state corporate sector and maintain the momentum of foreign investment. In late 2007 the Government announced an ambitious plan to extend the equitisation process to major state-owned conglomerates in sectors such as banking, insurance, aviation, cement, steel and textiles, with a target to reduce the number of SOEs to around 550 by 2010. These SOEs would operate in public services, national defence and security and some economic sectors deemed to be of national importance.
To date, however, the equitsation agenda has not reached its target and there are no reliable statistics on the actual number of SOEs equitised. In addition, a number of new SOEs created during the past few years, especially under the umbrella of state-owned conglomerates have not been supervised or reflected in official statistics. The vast majority of SOEs that have been equitised were small and medium-sized enterprises and the state continues to maintain a controlling share in a large number of enterprises following equitisation. The equitisation has not touched parent companies of major state-owned conglomerates. There are technical challenges associated with equitising major SOEs, particularly in assessing assets to prepare for sale. Many observers have noted that the momentum for equitisation may be weakening.
In 2006 the Vietnamese Government approved a banking development plan up to 2020. The plan includes moving the SBV towards a modern central bank, with more independence in its monetary and exchange rate policy, and improved supervision capacity over the banking system. This importantly complements the plans to equitise all five state-owned commercial banks, which the SBV currently both regulates and 'owns'. Challenges in this reform process include: addressing tensions arising from the SBV's dual regulatory and ownership role; resolving the legacy of directed lending to SOEs, and consequential bad loans; strengthening the banking system in such key areas as assessment of credit risk; and developing a greater understanding of international banking practices and products.
The stock market witnessed spectacular development during 2006 and most of 2007, with capitalisation of shares reaching the equivalent of over 40 per cent of GDP by December 2007. This growth was driven by more liberal foreign ownership caps, a strong increase in the number and size of listed entities and strong interest from domestic and foreign investors (Source: State Securities Commission). But the share market began to fall dramatically in October 2007 and in early 2009 hit its lowest point since January 2006. While it has risen since then, it has not returned to previous growth rates.
Business operating environment
The Vietnamese Government is gradually loosening foreign investment limits, for example, by lifting the foreign ownership limit in listed companies to 49 per cent, and in unlisted companies to 40 per cent. The legal system is also undergoing major change to better align commercial statutes with international norms. The implementation of WTO commitments is gradually contributing to a better operating environment over the medium and longer-term as tariffs are cut, investment restrictions loosened still further, and a more transparent and predictable commercial legal and administrative system comes into place. This process will take some years to begin to show real benefits.
Vietnam has many economic strengths, not least the skills and entrepreneurial bent of its youthful workforce and its location in the most dynamic part of the globe. However, Vietnam faces many challenges in maintaining its growth and development trajectory over the longer term.
Vietnam is a member of a growing network of free trade agreements, both individually and as part of ASEAN. Vietnam is participating in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations with Australia and other APEC economies (Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru and the US), which commenced in March 2011. As part of these negotiations Australia held a Trade Negotiations Capacity Building Seminar in Hanoi on 24-25 November 2010 in conjunction with New Zealand. Vietnam is also participating in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, which were launched by leaders from ASEAN and its free trade agreement partners in the margins of the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 20 November 2012. Further information about both FTA negotiations is available on the Department’s Trade site.
Vietnam's trade policy
Vietnam is committed to the long-term objective of global economic integration through participation in APEC, the ASEAN Free Trade Area, the TPP and the WTO. Vietnam successfully hosted APEC in 2006.
Vietnam and the WTO
Vietnam became a member of the WTO on 11 January 2007 and is making progress in implementing its WTO accession commitments, including: adopting implementing legislation; improving transparency of trade regulations; and clarifying consistency of treatment for private companies and state-owned enterprises. While such changes will no doubt present challenges to Vietnam in the short term, WTO membership is expected to be accompanied by significant expansion in trading opportunities, and Australian exporters stand to benefit considerably.
The bilateral relationship – economic
The Ministerial level Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee (JTECC) is the primary government-to-government mechanism to take the bilateral trade and investment relationship forward, and address any problem areas. JTECC met for the tenth time on 13 December 2011 in Hanoi. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss key areas of potential for increased bilateral trade and investment, including education and training; infrastructure; and resources and environment. Multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest were also discussed.
Australia and Vietnam are parties to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement which entered into force on 1 January 2010. Vietnam ratified the agreement on 24 June 2009.
Two-way trade between Australia and Vietnam in 2012 was $6.634 billion.
Merchandise and Services trade
Two-way merchandise trade reached a record-level of $6.9 billion in 2007-08, but had fallen 35 per cent to $4.5 billion in 2009-10, largely as a result of the deteriorating international economic situation. In 2012 it increased by 9 per cent to over $4.9 billion.
Two-way services trade between Australia and Vietnam grew by 2.3 per cent in 2012 to reach almost $1.7 billion. Services exports to Vietnam during this period were worth $926 million - triple that of 2005.
For further information regarding Australian merchandise and service trade, refer to the country factsheet.
Two-way services trade between Australia and Vietnam continued to perform well in 2009-2010, growing by 18.8 per cent to reach $1.6 billion. Services exports to Vietnam during this period were worth $957 million triple that of 2005. Education-related exports remain Australia's single largest services export, worth $796 million in 2009-2010. Services imports from Vietnam in the same period were valued at $676 million, dominated by recreational travel ($481 million).
Australian investment in Vietnam
According to Vietnamese Government statistics, Australia ranked 20th in overall foreign direct investment in Vietnam as at June 2012. There were 241 currently valid Australian-funded projects with disbursed FDI valued at US$405 million. Over the past five years, the most significant Australian investments have involved expansions by established Australian companies, which continue to diversify their operations. Prominent examples include BlueScope Steel, ANZ Bank and QBE.
Export and investment opportunities for Australia
Vietnam's rapid economic growth over recent years has increased demand for imported goods, creating significant opportunities for Australian exporters of energy, dairy, meat, fast moving consumer goods, wheats and grains, machinery and services. While the global economic slowdown presented challenges, the long term outlook for Australia-Vietnam trade and business relationships remains positive.
The continuing shift towards a more market-based economy and strong economic growth in Vietnam have increased demand for education and training services. Education sector reforms are also under way with support from the Government of Vietnam and donors including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The need for training in areas such as English language, business and management and information technology remains high, especially in the major urban centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam has large deposits of oil and gas, and a wide range of exploitable mineral deposits. Many Australian companies have expressed interest in minerals development in Vietnam, but remain concerned by uncertainty in the regulatory and fiscal environment.
Australian companies are generally well received in Vietnam. Australia is regarded as a modern, technologically advanced and friendly country located within Vietnam's immediate sphere of interest. Long-term trade and investment opportunities should increase in line with Vietnam's progress in implementing its legislative and administrative reform program.
If you would like more information on specific export opportunities in Vietnam, or more information on export assistance, go to the Austrade website.
In 2012, Vietnam was Australia’s fifth largest source country for international students with more than 22,000 student enrolments across Australia’s education sectors. Only China, India and South Korea send more students to Australia to study.
Demand for education from Vietnam has remained fairly stable with the Higher Education sector accounting for the largest volume of enrolments (11,071), growing 2 per cent from 2011. The VET sector was the second largest volume of students with 4,717 enrolments, a decline of 16 per cent from 2011. Students predominantly enrol in programs in management and commerce, although there are growing numbers in engineering, health and the natural and physical sciences.
Australia also has a significant in-country presence with more than 12,000 students studying Australian university and vocational education programs in Vietnam.
Examples of recent successes in Vietnam
RMIT International University Vietnam began operations in 2001 in Ho Chi Minh City as the first wholly foreign-owned University in Vietnam. By 2004, RMIT Vietnam had also opened a campus in Hanoi. In its 12th year of providing an international standard higher education experience within Vietnam, RMIT Vietnam has almost 6,000 students studying degree and post-graduate programs, and academic English classes, and by 2011 had graduated over 4,000 students. RMIT Vietnam is now a leader in the higher education industry in the region, assisting local universities build capability such as by assisting with their development of Learning Resource Centres. RMIT Vietnam continues to expand its program offering as well as its facilities; in 2012 RMIT Vietnam opened a second top quality designed academic building at RMIT Vietnam's Saigon South Campus, in addition to their recently built Recreation and Events Complex.
Building bridges in Vietnam
On 2 September 2009 NSW-based construction company Baulderstone, in partnership with Bilfinger Berger, completed the construction of the Phu My Bridge across the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City. The bridge, completed four months ahead of schedule at a cost of $150 million, will provide a crucial link between the southern Mekong Delta region and the central and northern parts of Vietnam. Baulderstone also built the My Thuan Bridge over the Mekong River in 2000, which was funded by the Australian Government.
Strategic Marine opens shipyard in Vung Tau
February 2009: Strategic Marine officially opened its US$16.3 million shipyard in the southern Vietnamese city of Vung Tau. The shipyard, which boasted $61.8 million in orders at the time of the opening, employs a workforce of over 1,100 people to produce a range of vessels for Vietnamese and international customers. The company has pioneered and funded an apprenticeship scheme which will see 55 Vietnamese undertake a two-year course in a range of specialized shipbuilding skills. The scheme has been developed under the guidance of Melbourne's Box Hill TAFE.
Arrow Energy to join other Australian players in Vietnam's oil and gas sector
January 2008: Arrow Energy signed a major Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the state-owned PetroVietnam. Arrow Energy announced in January 2009 that exploration drilling commenced on the first well in an initial 8 well program on its block in northern Vietnam.
Australia moves into Vietnamese energy market
September 2008: Origin Energy Australia became the majority share-holder in a joint-venture with Vietnamese company, CN Industries, to store and distribute LPG in Vietnam. Foreign companies have been permitted to take a controlling share in companies providing distribution services in Vietnam since 1 January 2008 as a part of Vietnam's WTO commitments package.
Commonwealth Bank opens its first branch in Vietnam
August 2008: The Commonwealth Bank opened its first branch in Vietnam. Commonwealth Bank has had a long-standing interest in Vietnam, having established a representative office there in 1995.
English language joint venture in Danang
June 2007: The English Language Institute, a joint initiative of the University of Danang, Vietnam, and the University of Queensland opened in Danang.
Recent high-level bilateral visits
High-level visits to Australia over recent years have served to maintain and deepen the bilateral relationship. Recent visits include:
- 2013 – Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Vu Huy Hoang, accompanied by an energy and resources delegation
- 2013 – Minister of National Defense, General Phung Quang Thanh
- 2012 – Minister of Finance: Professor Vuong Dinh Hue
- 2012 – Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, accompanied by Mr Nguyen Hoa Binh, Prosecutor General of the Supreme People's Procuracy, Mr Ha Hung Cuong, Minister of Justice; Mdm Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, and Mr Huynh Phong Tranh, Minister, Inspector General of the Government Inspectorate.
- 2010 – Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Mme Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan
- 2010 – Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr Vo Hong Phuc, accompanied by Vice Minister Le Duong Quang from Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade (for the 9th meeting of the Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee)
- 2010 – Vice President of Vietnam's National Assembly, Mr Uong Chu Luu, accompanied by a Parliamentary Delegation
- 2009 – General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, accompanied by a senior delegation including the Deputy Prime Minister (also Minister of Foreign Affairs), the Minister of Planning and Investment, and the Minister of Industry and Trade
- 2008 – Prime Minister, Mr Nguyen Tan Dung, accompanied by the Minister of Transport
- 2008 – Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Truong Vinh Trong
- 2008 – President of the National Assembly, Mr Nguyen Phu Trong
- 2008 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training, Dr Nguyen Thien Nhan
- 2007 – State President, Nguyen Minh Triet; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Gia Khiem; and Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang (for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting)
- 2007 – Minister of Public Security, General Le Hong Anh
- 2007 – Minister of Planning and Investment, Vo Hong Phuc (for the 7th meeting of the Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee)
- 2007 – Minister of Transport Mr Ho Nghia Dung to attend APEC Transport Ministerial Meeting
- 2007 – Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr Vo Hong Phuc to attend the 7th meeting of the Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee (JTECC)
- 2006 – Vice-President Truong My Hoa visits Australia
- 2005 – Prime Minister Mr Phan Van Khai, accompanied by Minister of Education and Training, Mr Nguyen Minh Hien and Mr Le Thanh Hai, Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City
- 2005 – Minister for Education and Training Nguyen Minh Hien
- 2004 – Minister for Defence, Pham Van Tra
- 2004 – Foreign Minister, Nguyen Dy Nien
These visits have been reciprocated by high-level Australian visits to Vietnam:
- 2013 – Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia, Ms Anna Burke (to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the cooperative relationship between the parliaments of Australia and Vietnam)
- 2012 – Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig (to strengthen ties and build trade opportunities for the agriculture sector ahead of the Asian Century)
- 2012 – Minister for Defence, Mr Stephen Smith (for bilateral meetings)
- 2012 – Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr (for bilateral meetings)
- 2011 – Minister for Trade, Dr Craig Emerson (to co-chair the 8th meeting of the Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee)
- 2011 – Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC (to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Australia and Vietnam)
- 2011 – Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Kevin Rudd (for bilateral meetings)
- 2010 – Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard (for the East Asia Summit and bilateral meetings)
- 2010 – Minister for Defence, Mr Stephen Smith (ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM+) and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Defence Cooperation)
- 2009 – Minister for Trade, Mr Simon Crean (to co-chair the 8th meeting of the Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee)
- 2009 – Minister for Immigration and Citizenship , Mr Chris Evans
- 2008 – Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Stephen Smith
- 2006 – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer and Minister of Trade, Mr Warren Truss visit Hanoi to attend the 18th joint APEC Ministerial Meeting
- 2006 – Prime Minister, Mr John Howard attends the APEC meeting in Hanoi
- 2006 – Minister for Health and Ageing, Mr Tony Abbott visits Vietnam
- 2006 – Minister for Small Business and Tourism Ms Fran Bailey visits Vietnam
- 2006 – Parliamentary Secretary (Trade) Mrs De-Anne Kelly visits Vietnam
- 2005 – Minister for Vocational and Technical Education Mr Gary Hardgrave
- 2005 – Minister for Defence Senator Robert Hill visits Vietnam
- 2005 – Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Bruce Billson visits Vietnam
- 2005 – Australian Delegation to Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum 13 (APPF-13) led by Speaker Hon David Hawker MP, accompanied by Senator Alan Eggleston, Mr Alby Schultz and Ms Kirsten Livermore
- 2005 – Senator Jeannie Ferris, Senator Hon Judith Troeth and Joan Hall MP
- 2004 – Minister for Family and Community Services Senator Kay Patterson
Updated September 2013