PM Morrison's taste of old and new Vietnam

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has received a military welcome full of pomp and pageantry in Vietnam.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has received a military welcome full of pomp and pageantry in Vietnam.

A heavy dose of communist fanfare and a glimpse into a money-dripping sport's future coloured Scott Morrison's jam-packed day in Vietnam.

The prime minister received a military welcome full of pomp and pageantry in Hanoi on Friday, with a brass marching band belting out the national anthems of both nations.

Dozens of primary-school aged girls waving miniature Australian and Vietnamese flags put a dash of cuteness alongside the stiff armed forces' perfect formations.

Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny were at Hanoi's French-built Presidential Palace, a grand yellow building surrounded with grounds adorned by tropic-fuelled greenery and a fountain inside the main gate.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his wife Tran Thi Nguyen Thu greeted them.

The two prime ministers embraced warmly as they walked around the back of the palace to a government office for their one-on-one meeting.

In front a wider delegation, Mr Morrison and Mr Phuc made brief remarks before thrashing things out behind closed doors.

In 2018, Australia and Vietnam enhanced the countries' relationship to a strategic partnership.

On Friday, Mr Morrison upgraded from friends to mates as he stood beside his Vietnamese counterpart making a joint press statement.

After finding agreement on security, trade, defence, recycling and education to name just a few, Mr Morrison went to Ho Chin Minh's stilt house to feed the plucky carp jumping out of the lake.

The historic building once lived in by the communist revolutionary was a world away from the excess in which Formula One bathes.

Hanoi will host Vietnam's debut race in 2020, with Mr Morrison noting the glitz and glamour which accompanies the sport as he visited what will one day be the track.

"Hanoi, start your engines, will be the cry that will ring out," he said.

It showed a healthy imagination given he was in a wedding-style tent plonked in a construction site laden with dirt, hard-hats and dragonflies.

Amid the formalities, the master of ceremonies managed to inadvertently crack Mr Morrison up.

He gave the prime minister's chief-of-staff John Kunkel a promotion to deputy prime minister.

It was a minor glitch on a precision-planned day showcasing Vietnam, old and new.

Australian Associated Press