|National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue arrives in Canberra on November 29 evening, starting an official visit to Australia from November 30 – December 3. Photo: VNA
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and the Vietnamese NA’s delegation arrived in Canberra on November 29 evening (local time), starting an official visit to Australia from November 30 – December 3 at the invitation of Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Milton Dick, and President of the Australian Senate Sue Lines.
Hue and the delegation were greeted at the airport by Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Nguyen Tat Thanh, Deputy President of the Australian Senate Andrew McLachlan, and officials from the Australian House of Representatives and the Foreign Ministry.
Australia is a strategic partner of Vietnam in the South Pacific region. The cooperation between the two countries is developing strongly across various areas, while the bilateral cooperation mechanisms are flexibly deployed in both face-to-face and online formats.
|NA Chairman Hue (second, R) is greeted by Australian officials. Photo: VNA
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Australia has seen a high growth rate despite impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, hitting USD 12.4 billion in 2021 and USD 12 billion in the first nine months of 2022, representing year-on-year increases of nearly 50% and 31.5% , respectively.
Australia has provided Vietnam with stable official development assistance (ODA). On October 25, Australia announced its budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, under which the country will increase ODA for Vietnam to AUD 92.8 million compared to AUD 78.9 million in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Vietnam and Australia will celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2023. Australia has expressed its wish to elevate the relations with Vietnam to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion.
Cooperative ties between the Vietnamese NA and the Parliament of Australia have also been developing, both bilaterally and multilaterally, importantly contributing to the relationship between the two nations.
At regional and global inter-parliamentary forums, the two countries’ lawmakers also engaged in discussions and exchanges on regional and global issues of common concern.
Talking to the VNA, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh said Hue’s visit is the first to Australia by a senior leader of Vietnam in five years and also the fifth by a chairperson of the Vietnamese NA to this country since bilateral diplomatic ties were set up.
He expressed his belief that the Vietnam – Australia strategic partnership has been ripe for entering a new phase with stronger trust and more effectiveness, thereby meeting the two peoples’ aspirations and actively contributing to regional and global peace and cooperation.
|NA Chairman Hue is greeted by representatives of Vietnamese community. Photo: VNA
Meanwhile, President of the Australian Senate Sue Lines said that NA Chairman Hue will become the first guest of the new-tenure parliament of Australia, describing it as a reflection of the strong relationship between Australia and Vietnam.
She expressed delight that the Vietnamese top legislator’s visit will have a strong focus on education, as Vietnam is a priority partner of Australia in this field.
She held that parliament exchange has been an important element of the bilateral relations.
The Vietnam Parliamentary Friends Group has one of the largest memberships in the Australian Parliament with 57, she noted, adding that this demonstrates the keen interest of the Australian parliament has in understanding Vietnam, working closer with the country, and shows the strength of the overarching bilateral relationship.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has also focused on fostering the connections between the two peoples, she said, noting that Vietnamese is currently one of the most spoken language in Australia.
At a hope to increase the diversity and representation in the Australian parliament, Australia hopes for more engagement from the Vietnamese community in the country, she said.
The Australian Senate leader said that her country is keen on expanding cooperation between the two parliaments to economy and people’s diplomacy. To this end, Australia has worked with the Vietnamese NA in technical support projects such as assisting the NA Economic Committee to draft an anti-money laundry law.
In the time to come, the Australian side is willing to work with the Vietnamese NA in the fields of training through the Australia-Vietnam Centre, she said.
The official said through the Vietnamese NA Chairman’s visit, Australia hopes to listen to new ideas and proposals from Vietnam in further enhancing the cooperation between the two countries in general and the two parliaments in particular to respond to common challenges together.
The Vietnamese top legislator is scheduled to hold talks with President of the Australian Senate Sue Lines and Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Milton Dick on November 30.
During the trip, NA Chairman Hue will have meetings with high-ranking leaders, a number of ministers and state governors; attend the Vietnam – Australia education and economic cooperation forums.
He will also meet with students of a number of universities, and representatives of the Vietnamese community in the country.