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Australia willing to develop cooperation with Vietnam

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm

The Government of Australia considers Vietnam as one of its important partners in the region and pledges to develop long-term cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.

Visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith made the statement during his talks with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem in Hanoi on July 1.

Khiem welcomed Smith’s first visit to Vietnam and spoke highly of the Australian Government’s policy of continuing to promote cooperative ties with Vietnam .

“ Vietnam always attaches great importance to expanding the friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Australia ,” the deputy PM stressed.

In reply, Smith said he was glad to visit Vietnam for the first time since he was appointed as Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs in December 2007.

The two sides expressed their pleasure at the fine developments in the friendship and all-round cooperation when Vietnam and Australia are celebrating the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

They noted that since the beginning of the year, the two nations exchanged many high-level visits, including those to Australia by National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, and Deputy PMs Nguyen Thien Nhan and Truong Vinh Trong, and a trip to Vietnam by Queensland State ’s Minister of Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations John Mickel.

Australia is now Vietnam ’s 7th biggest trade partner and its 4th largest export market, with two-way trade value reaching 4.56 billion USD last year. By the end of May 2008, Australia had invested 1.01 billion USD in 174 projects in Vietnam .

Vietnam is Australia ’s 4th largest aid recipient with a total committed official development assistance (ODA) capital for 2008 totalling 93.1 million AUD, 1.3 million AUD higher than the previous year.

Regarding regional and international issues, Deputy PM Khiem affirmed that Vietnam treasures cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia , as well as within the framework of the East Asia Summit (EAS). Vietnam supports Australia ’s efforts to promote peace, stability and development in Asia and the Pacific, he added.

During the talks, the two sides also discussed measures to speed up negotiations on the ASEAN- Australia – New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANFTA).

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