Vietnam Time

5/24/2018 5:49:33 PM

Vietnam proud to have a friend like Australia: President

Vietnam is very proud to have a friend and a partner like Australia, President Tran Dai Quang said at a banquet in honour of Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove and his spouse in Hanoi on May 24th.

The Governor-General of Australia and his spouse are paying a State visit to Vietnam from May 23rd to 26th on the occasion of the 45th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (1973-2018).

President Tran Dai Quang (R) and Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove toast the development of the two countries' relations at the banquet in Hanoi on May 24th. (Photo: VNA)

At the banquet following an official welcome ceremony, President Quang said weathering many difficulties and challenges, bilateral relations have grown steadier and stronger than ever. The year 2018 has witnessed many important events in Vietnam-Australia relations, including the elevation of their ties to a strategic partnership last March.

Reviewing the outcomes in bilateral connections, he noted with satisfaction the increasingly strengthened mutual understanding and political trust between the two countries’ leaders and people.

He voiced his belief that the visit by the Governor-General will be successful, thus helping foster the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership, bringing more practical benefits for the countries’ people and contributing to regional peace, stability, cooperation and development.

In his speech, Governor-General Cosgrove expressed his delight at his first visit to Vietnam, adding that the trip amid the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties is also an occasion for the two countries to move towards new frameworks in their strategic partnership.

He affirmed that Australia is also proud to have a close friend and partner like Vietnam to join hands for the sake of peace and prosperity in the two countries, as well as in the region and the world.

Vietnamese and Australian scientists and researchers are cooperating to apply their research findings to life. Servicemen and servicewomen of the countries are working together to prepare for Vietnam’s first deployment of military officers to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. Meanwhile, their businesses are boosting partnerships in new spheres such as renewable energy and agriculture, he noted.

The visiting leader said bilateral connections will further develop in both depth and width in the time ahead, and these linkages will be a solid foundation for the two countries to build a brighter future.

Also on May 24th morning, Governor-General Cosgrove laid a wreath at the Monument to Heroic Martyrs and paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at the Vietnamese late leader’s mausoleum in Hanoi.

Vietnam and Australia officially set up the diplomatic relationship on February 26th, 1973. Over the last 45 years, they have built strong relations, especially since the establishment of a comprehensive partnership in 2009 and the signing of a declaration on an enhanced comprehensive partnership in March 2015.

On the occasion of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Australia in March 2018, the two countries established a strategic partnership, opening a new page in their bilateral relations.

The fine political relationship is marked by reciprocal high-level visits between the two countries’ leaders. The two sides have maintained the bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including deputy ministerial-level foreign affairs and defence strategic dialogues, and the joint committee on cooperation in science and technology. Australia considers Vietnam as a key partner in ASEAN and highly appreciates Vietnam’s role within ASEAN.

Economic, trade and investment cooperation is a bright spot in the Vietnam-Australia relationship. The two-way trade reached nearly USD 6.5 billion in 2017, up 22.2 per cent against 2016. To date, Australia has invested approximately USD 1.8 billion in 412 projects in Vietnam, ranking 20th among the 126 countries and territories that are currently investing in Vietnam. Australia is one of the largest providers of non-refundable ODA and provided AUD 160 million in aid provision to build the Cao Lanh bridge in Vietnam

The two countries have also forged strong cooperation in education, with roughly 30,000 Vietnamese students currently studying in Australia.

Security and defence cooperation has also become more diverse. Cooperation in tourism, labour, transport, industry, agriculture, and culture is also developing and bringing many practical benefits to the two countries’ peoples.

There are about 300,000 overseas Vietnamese people in Australia, who have been provided with favourable conditions from the host country in their living, studying and business operations, thereby serving as a friendship bridge boosting the development of the bilateral ties.

Vietnam and Australia cooperate effectively within regional and international cooperation frameworks such as the United Nations, the East Asia Summit, and APEC.

The visit is also a good opportunity for the two sides to discuss solutions to foster the all-round cooperation in a more substantive and effective manner, while exchanging their opinions on regional and international issues of mutual concern, contributing to peace, stability, and development in the region and the world at large./.

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