NA Chairwoman meets Australian Foreign Minister, Governor-General

Thursday, 2017-11-30 22:07:49
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NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. (Credit: VOV)
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NDO/VNA – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has expressed her wish to further strengthen ties with Australia within bilateral cooperation framework as well as at regional and global forums.

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During a meeting in Canberra on November 30 with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, deputy head of the ruling Liberal Party of Australia, Ngan said the Vietnamese NA welcomes and supports the upgrade of bilateral ties to strategic partnership level.

As the two countries are to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2018, Vietnam will work closely with Australia to hold activities to raise the two peoples’ awareness of bilateral friendship and collaboration, she said.

The Vietnamese NA leader also expressed delight at growing two-way trade which surged to US$5.2 billion last year from US$32.3 million in 1990. The figure is expected to hit US$10 billion in the near future.

She spoke highly of mutual support in multilateral forums and thanked Australia for supporting Vietnam’s candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

The guest asked Australia to continue working closely with Vietnam in multilateral cooperation mechanisms and thanked the Australian Government and the Foreign Minister herself for providing support for Vietnamese nationals living in the country.

The top legislator took the occasion to thank the high-ranking Australia delegation led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for their active contributions to the success of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week recently hosted by Vietnam.

She asked for increased collaboration in regional and global issues of shared stance and interest, including strengthening regional architecture, promoting trade liberalisation and economic connectivity.

Vietnam appreciates Australia’s thorough preparations for the ASEAN- Australia Special Summit scheduled for March 2018 in Sydney and the outcomes of the East Asia Summit (EAS) recently held in the Philippines, she said, adding that Vietnam is ready to partner with Australia and ASEAN member states to promote the content of marine security cooperation in the upcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

The NA Chairwoman noted that Vietnam highly values Australia’s positive stance on the East Sea issue, especially the comments and strong message delivered by PM Turnbull at the Shangri-La Dialogue and the EAS in earlier November.

Bishop, for her part, expressed hope that both nations can lift bilateral ties to strategic partnership level in March next year.

Praising Vietnam’s important role in directing regional economic integration, Bishop expressed hope that more Vietnamese students will choose Australia as a study destination. Vietnam is currently the fifth largest source of students in Australia. The Australia government has provided 3,000 scholarships for Vietnam while 1,500 Australian students will study in Vietnam under the New Colombo Plan (NCP) programme.

She praised Vietnam for raising the East Asia issue in regional forums, and reaffirmed that Australia backs the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of dialogue and respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan meets with Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove. (Credit: VNA)

* The same day, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan held a meeting with Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in Canberra.

The visiting legislator said that the Vietnamese NA wants to promote the enhanced comprehensive partnership between the two countries and the cooperation between the two parliaments.

Briefing the host about the outcomes of her talks with Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan, she emphasised that the two countries’ relations have been growing rapidly and substantively, especially since the establishment of the comprehensive partnership in 2009 and the signing of a statement on the enhanced comprehensive partnership in March 2015.

Vietnam’s consistent policy is respecting bilateral ties with Australia, she noted, expressing her belief that an official visit to Australia by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc slated for March 2018 will mark a new milestone in the countries’ relationship, which will be lifted to a strategic partnership.

Chairwoman Ngan expressed her delight at the growing bilateral relations, adding that Vietnam will coordinate closely with Australia to organise practical activities marking the 45th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2018.

The two countries boast huge potential for cooperation in many fields, from economy, trade to investment, she noted, noting with satisfaction the growth of bilateral trade to US$5.2 billion in 2016, which turned Australia into the eighth biggest trade partner of Vietnam.

While Australia has given ODA capital to the fields that match Vietnam’s development targets, cooperation in defence, security, education-training, labour, tourism and people-to-people exchanges have been reinforced.

The NA leader asked the Governor-General and Government of Australia to continue encouraging their country’s enterprises to invest and form business ties with Vietnamese partners.

On this occasion, she thanked the Governor-General and Government for their favourable conditions for Vietnamese people in Australia to stabilise their lives, integrate into the local society, maintain national identities, and contribute to the two countries’ relations.

At the meeting, Governor-General Cosgrove said the expected elevation of bilateral ties to a strategic partnership during an upcoming official visit to Australia by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc is a clear-sighted decision.

He shared his guest’s viewpoint on the two countries’ sound relationship, adding that Vietnam is an important partner of Australia.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he said it is necessary to keep peace, stability, freedom and safety of navigation in the East Sea. All disputes in the East Sea need to be resolved by peaceful means, through dialogue, and in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.