Australian professor awarded educational insignia


VNA (7/02/2012) The Vietnamese Embassy in Canberra on Feb.7 hosted a ceremony to present the insignia “For the Cause of Education” to Professor Ian Young, Vice-Chancellor of the Australia National University (ANU).
Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Hoang Vinh Thanh affirmed that the award acknowledges the professor’s active contributions to Vietnam ’s education cause.
Ian Young expressed his great honour to receive the award.
He said, Vietnam has been extremely pro-active in developing higher education and shown great foresight in recognising the role education will play in developing Vietnam , adding that ANU presently has more than 120 Vietnamese students – approximately 50 percent at Post Graduate level.
The Vice-Chancellor also expressed his hope to strengthen ties between ANU with Vietnam in areas such as joint education programmes, PhD training, research collaboration and cultural development.
Ian Young was appointed to Vice-Chancellor of ANU in March, 2011. Previously, he was Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology for 7 years (2003-2011).

Australia and Vietnam forge closer bonds


DFAT 14/12/2011

Australia has agreed to work more closely with Vietnam to develop its capacity to trade, supporting the country with its market-opening economic reform program.

In a joint statement following the 10th meeting of the Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee (JTECC), the two countries pledged to continue to develop and diversify their trade relationship, which was worth more than $6 billion in 2010-11, having grown more than 10 per cent per annum over the last decade.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson threw his support behind continued reform in the country, saying Australia's own market-opening had been a "long but successful journey".

"Vietnam's opening-up over the past 25 years has lifted millions out of poverty and helped drive a 16-fold increase in GDP since 1990," Dr Emerson said.

"By working on the bilateral relationship, and offering assistance with continued domestic reform, we are securing great opportunities for both sides as we engage with the Asian region in this, the Asian Century," Dr Emerson said.

Building on the Action Plan for the Comprehensive Partnership witnessed by Prime Minister Gillard during her visit to Vietnam in October 2010, Dr Emerson encouraged Vietnam to take advantage of Australian capacity-building assistance available under programs involving the World Bank, the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and APEC.

"Vietnam is a fast-growing market for Australia's education services, producing thousands of ambassadors a year for our two countries," Dr Emerson said.
"And robust economic development offers great potential for Australian coal and natural gas exports to meet Vietnam's energy security needs," he added.

Vietnam is one of a priority group of countries identified by Dr Emerson for their dynamic growth, domestic reform programs, expanding middle class, and rising demand for Australian goods and services.

Australia's relationship with Vietnam is thriving under the countries' Comprehensive Partnership, signed in 2009.

Vietnam's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2007, its membership of AANZFTA and its interest in further economic co-operation reflected policy drives aimed at improved regional economic integration, Dr Emerson said.

10th Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee Joint Communiqué

The Australian Minister for Trade, the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, and the Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment, His Excellency Mr Bui Quang Vinh, co-chaired the tenth meeting of the Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee (JTECC) on 13 December 2011 in Hanoi. The JTECC was established in 1990 to review progress in the economic relationship between the two countries and to identify ways to enhance cooperation.

1. The two sides agreed that bilateral relations continue to be strengthened and broadened under the framework of the Australia-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, signed in September 2009. Ministers welcomed the signing of the Australia-Vietnam Plan of Action, during the visit by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Vietnam in October 2010, which provides a detailed work program for cooperation under the Comprehensive Partnership. Dr Emerson welcomed Vietnam’s increasingly active role on the international stage, including as a member of ASEAN, APEC and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

2. Ministers were encouraged by the ten year growth in two-way goods and services trade with an average of 10 per cent annual growth over the last decade. Ministers noted the resilience of economies in the region in the face of the global economic crisis and welcomed the region’s ongoing commitment to trade and economic reform. Dr Emerson welcomed real year-on-year GDP growth in Vietnam of 6 per cent in 2010 and the Vietnamese Government’s projections of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth in 2012.

3. Ministers had broad-ranging discussions about the future of the bilateral economic relationship and agreed that while progress had been made, there remained very substantial potential for sustained expansion of the relationship. Both governments made clear their commitment to creating the environment to encourage business to take advantage of strong complementarities between the two economies. In this context, Ministers welcomed progress under Phase 2 of the Beyond WTO program and the support provided by Australia to implement reforms in Vietnam in managing economic integration and its transition to a market economy. Dr Emerson registered Australia’s strong interest in resolving potential issues with the implementation of recent measures such as Vietnam’s Notice 197, relating to the import of luxury goods; Decree 46, relating to work permits for foreign employees; and Decision 20, relating to Pay TV operation and management. Minister Vinh noted Australia’s interests and expressed Vietnam’s willingness to work closely with Australia to resolve issues arising from the implementation of policies designed to stabilise Vietnam’s macro-economy.

4. Minister Vinh set out Vietnam’s economic restructuring plans and priorities and noted the relevance of Australia’s experience in economic reform since the 1980s to the challenges Vietnam faces. Dr Emerson welcomed Vietnam’s renewed commitment to macro-economic stability, economic integration and market based reforms as set out by Mr Vinh and underlined the importance of these efforts to the continued development of the bilateral economic relationship. In this context Dr Emerson expressed Australia’s interest in supporting Vietnam’s capacity to undertake economic restructuring, through three specific initiatives:

• working with Vietnam to secure funding under the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Work Program including to implement the recommendations of Vietnam’s 2009 OECD Investment Policy Review;
• encouraging Vietnam to make use of the structural reform capacity-building funding that Australia has made available to developing APEC economies as an outcome of the November 2011 APEC meeting;
• encouraging Vietnam to engage in the Australia/World Bank program focused on assisting Vietnamese agencies to build institutional capacity to strengthen their ability to assess the financial sector (FSAP), prepare and undertake reforms and bring the system closer to international best practice and standards.

5. Ministers welcomed the increasing interest by both Australian and Vietnamese business in building commercial relationships, in particular the development of such relationships in the education, infrastructure and energy and resources sectors. Ministers also welcomed activities undertaken as components of the Australia-Vietnam Agriculture Cooperation Program, which was designed to strengthen Vietnam’s sanitary and phytosanitary capacity.

6. Ministers noted that education and training represented Australia’s largest services export to Vietnam. Ministers underlined the importance of the Joint Working Group on Education and Training recently agreed by Australia and Vietnam. Dr Emerson set out Australia’s enhanced engagement in Vietnam’s vocational education and training sector through a whole-of-government strategy, policy workshops and a policy mission to Vietnam. Mr Vinh welcomed the Australian Government’s continued commitment to scholarships for Vietnam.

7. Ministers agreed that significant opportunities would arise as Vietnam's economy continued to grow and its demand for resources and energy increased. Ministers also noted that Vietnam provides a ready market for Australian expertise in resources and energy technology and services. Dr Emerson welcomed future two-way visits by resource and energy sector delegates.

8. Mr Vinh welcomed Australia’s $160 million contribution to the design, supervision and construction of the Cao Lanh Bridge, part of the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project and Australia’s biggest single aid project in the Mekong region. The project will make an important contribution to facilitating trade and economic cooperation and growth in the region.

9. Ministers emphasised the importance of deepening cooperation in these sectors. To this end, Dr Emerson requested support from Vietnam to assist Box Hill Institute of TAFE and Know One Teach One (KOTO) to undertake a feasibility study on a new technical school in Hanoi. He proposed that Vietnam send an infrastructure delegation to Australia, to coincide with the 11th meeting of JTECC in 2012, to showcase PPP opportunities and engage the private sector. In relation to cooperation on environmental matters, Dr Emerson proposed that a trade Mission from Australia visit Vietnam in 2012, focusing on green building, energy efficiency and water management systems, organised by Austrade. He also said that Australia would welcome a visit by the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Hoang, next year including to look at ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in resources and energy.

10. On multilateral and regional issues, Dr Emerson expressed Australia’s desire to continue to work closely with Vietnam in the East Asia Summit to sustain momentum in regional economic integration, particularly through the ASEAN Plus Working Groups on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment which would be set up in 2012.

11. Ministers expressed their deep concern regarding the impasse confronting the Doha Development Round and agreed that fresh thinking was needed, involving innovative approaches, including the possibility of advancing specific parts of the Doha agenda, where consensus might be reached on a provisional or definitive basis. Ministers agreed to use the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC8) in Geneva (15-17 December 2011) to assess and promote further activity on the Doha Round, including on a new pathway forward. Ministers recognized the urgent need for the Doha Development Round to deliver outcomes for the world’s poorest countries and urged that an early package of measures be developed for least developed countries (LDCs). Ministers recommitted to the pledge by APEC Leaders in Honolulu (13 November 2011) against protectionism through a standstill extended to the end of 2015, and agreed to work together at MC8 to build on this commitment through an anti-protectionism pledge at MC8. These commitments complement and support agreement by G20 Leaders (Cannes, 3-4 November 2011) to reaffirm their standstill commitments until the end of 2013, to roll back any new protectionist measure that may have risen and to direct their Trade Ministers to work on fresh approaches to the Doha negotiations at MC8.

12. The Ministers agreed that Vietnam and the Cairns Group would continue their cooperation in the Doha Development Round negotiations, and Dr Emerson welcomed Vietnam’s participation as an observer in Cairns Group Ministerial Meetings. The Ministers recognised that as agricultural exporters Australia and Vietnam shared an interest in the liberalisation of agricultural trade.

13. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the outcomes of the APEC Ministers' and Leaders' Meetings in Honolulu in November, including implementation of our structural reform priorities, and welcomed the continuing strong cooperation between Australia and Vietnam in APEC

14. The two Ministers welcomed the completion in 2011 by Indonesia of all formal procedures for entry into force of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), marking the full operation of this landmark Agreement. Ministers agreed that AANZFTA offered great potential to contribute to regional economic integration and prosperity. Ministers agreed to continue to advance implementation and utilisation of AANZFTA, including its built-in agenda and Economic Cooperation Work Program and close cooperation in raising industry awareness of AANZFTA opportunities. In this context, Ministers welcomed the AANZFTA promotion seminar conducted by the Australian Consulate General and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with participation by the Vietnam Department of Industry and Trade, in April 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City. Ministers agreed that AANZFTA is a benchmark for further ASEAN-centred regional economic integration. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to encouraging business in both countries to take full advantage of the opportunities created by AANZFTA.

15. Ministers noted that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Leaders had met in Honolulu on 12 November to review progress in the negotiations and consider next steps in the development of a 21st Century free trade agreement, which could forge a pathway to free trade across the Asia-Pacific. Ministers welcomed the fact that there was now agreement on the broad outlines of the TPP and reaffirmed their commitment to a comprehensive, ambitious FTA which eliminates tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment. Ministers underscored the TPP Leaders' instruction that officials move forward to conclude the TPP agreement as rapidly as possible.

16. Ministers agreed to hold JTECC on an annual basis, with the next meeting to be hosted by Australia in 2012.

The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP His Excellency Bui Quang Vinh

(signed) (signed)

Australian Minister for Trade Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment

13 December 2011

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan receives Australian friendship group 

VNA 19/07/2011 - Viet Nam and Australia would expand cooperative activities to support Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) victims, disadvantaged families and needy children in Viet Nam.

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan made the suggestion in Hanoi on July 19 while meeting with a delegation from the Australia-Viet Nam Friendship Association (AVNFA) led by its President Paul Noak.
The two countries would continue to cooperate in other fields such as trade, investment and science and technology, aiming to contribute to promote their common development, the State leader said.
Doan thanked the Australian people for their enthusiastic assistance to Vietnamese people during the anti-American resistance war.
She said that relations between Viet Nam and Australia were brought to a new height while the cooperative ties between the two countries in the fields of economics, politics, culture and education were more highly developed.
On his part, Paul Noak affirmed that he would exert his utmost to promote friendly relations between the two countries’ people, pledging to organise more activities to raise funds for Vietnamese AO victims.
He said that AVNFA will soon hold its Congress and continue to strengthen the Association’s operational structure./.

Top leaders welcome Australian Governor General 

(VNA-9/5/2011)- Viet Nam and Australia should step up legislative relations, people exchanges and cultural and sports cooperation, along with developing cooperative ties between governments, ministries and sectors.

Party General Secretary cum National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong made these suggestions while receiving Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce in Hanoi on May 9.

Trong said Viet Nam and Australia should fully tap the advantages offered by the ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand Free Trade Agreement to become one of each other’s 10 biggest economic partners.

Bryce told her host that Australia places importance on promoting the Comprehensive Partnership with Viet Nam in all spheres, including politics, economics, trade, investment, science, technology, culture, education and training.

The Governor General said the two sides need to actively implement agreements signed recently between high-ranking leaders of the two nations, as well as the Plan of Action to realise the Comprehensive Partnership in the 2010-2013 period.

Bryce also reiterated Australia ’s commitment to assist Viet Nam in designing and building Cao Lanh bridge in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap , as part of the Central Mekong Connectivity Project.

Also on May 9, Bryce was received by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who hailed the Governor General’s current visit as an important contribution to bringing the bilateral relationship to a new level and further strengthening the Viet Nam-Australia Comprehensive Partnership.

Having spoken highly of the results of the earlier talks between Bryce and State President Nguyen Minh Triet, PM Dung said Viet Nam would work closely with Australia to carry out the signed cooperation programmes and the outcomes reached at the talks.

The PM noted with pleasure that despite the adverse impacts of the global financial crisis, bilateral economic relations have grown strongly, with two-way trade increasing sharply and many Australian-invested projects being deployed in Viet Nam.

Based on fine political ties, PM Dung suggested Viet Nam and Australia fully tap their own potentials and advantages to step up economic, trade and investment cooperation for mutual benefit and development.

The leader urged Australia to increase scholarships for Vietnamese students, to continue providing official development assistance (ODA) for Viet Nam and to create more favourable conditions for Overseas Vietnamese who are studying and working in Australia .

While affirming that Australia always attaches importance to developing its comprehensive cooperation with Viet Nam , Bryce requested Viet Nam create better conditions for Australian businesses to make long-term investments in the Southeast Asian country.

The Governor-General said Australia would continue to beef up educational cooperation with Viet Nam and provide effective assistance to the nation in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The same day, Bryce had an informal meeting with people living with HIV at the National Women’s Museum where she shared experiences with people who are working to reduce the stigma and
discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.

Australia is an active partner in Viet Nam ’s response to HIV and has greatly contributed to national efforts to explore and implement new approaches to the matter. The country is now the co-chair of the Ambassadors/UN Heads of Agency Informal HIV Co-ordination Group./.

VN expects further education links with Australia

VNA 13/04/2011 - Viet Nam expected increased education and training cooperation with Australia with the hope that Vietnamese students in the oceanic country would act as a bridge to strengthen friendship, cooperation, solidarity and mutual understanding between the two nations.
State President Nguyen Minh Triet made the statement while receiving Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in Hanoi on April 13.
FM Rudd spoke highly of the studious spirit and high learning achievements of Vietnamese students in Australia .
There are about 25,000 Vietnamese students in Australia , and 16,000 others are pursuing their study at Australian training centres based in Viet Nam , he said.
According to the FM, Australia is one the countries offering the most scholarships to Vietnamese students. In 2011, the Asia-Australia scholarship programme offered 400 of a total 5,000 scholarships to Vietnamese students.
At the meeting, President Triet also said Viet Nam wanted to boost bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation.
He took this occasion to express his pleasure at the developments of the Viet Nam-Australia relationship in the spirit of comprehensive partnership and spoke highly of Kevin Rudd’s contributions to bilateral relations in his capacity as former Australian Prime Minister.
The President thanked the Australian government and people-to-people for their assistance to Viet Nam in national construction and development, especially official development assistance (ODA), citing My Thuan and Cao Lanh bridges in the Mekong Delta region as the manifestations of the friendship between the two countries.
He also asked the two countries to promote people exchanges and cultural cooperation.
President Triet reiterated Viet Nam ’s policy of expanding cooperation with foreign countries in the world, including Australia , an important partner of Viet Nam .
FM Kevin Rudd said Australia was willing to help Viet Nam in the Southeast country’s construction and development process.
He also spoke highly of Viet Nam ’s role and its position in ASEAN and the international arena, affirming that the Viet Nam-Australia friendship and cooperation were not limited to the bilateral framework, but also expressed through multilateral mechanisms.
Australia wanted to coordinate with Viet Nam and other partners in the region to ensure security within the East Asia Summit framework, the Australian FM said.
The same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received the visiting Australian FM, during which he spoke highly of the results of talks between the Vietnamese and Australian FMs, saying that agreements reached during the talks would mark a new step in bilateral diplomatic ties.
Viet Nam wanted to boost cooperation with Australia in order to further develop bilateral relations and increase mutual understanding between the two nations and two peoples, PM said.
He also asked the two Governments and Foreign Ministries to build a consultation mechanism to boost joint programmes and projects.
FM Kevin Rudd proposed the two countries promote cooperation, especially in mining and energy./.

Viet Nam, Australia forge relations

VNA 13/4/2011 - Viet Nam and Australia affirmed their close collaboration and intention to implement concrete cooperation fields within the Viet Nam-Australia Action Programme for the 2010-2013 period.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem receives ans held talks with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd (Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA)
The affirmation was made at talks between Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in Hanoi on April 13.
Deputy PM Khiem welcomed Minister Kevin Rudd’s visit to Viet Nam , which he said would contribute to promoting the Viet Nam-Australia comprehensive partnership.
Australian Foreign Minister Rudd highlighted Viet Nam ’s role in its capacity as ASEAN Chair in 2010 and its organisation of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting plus (ADMM+) and the expansion of the East Asia Summit (EAS).
The two ministers agreed to boost investment and trade activities based on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) so as to make their economic relations match with the two countries’ political ties and potential.
Both ministers reached unanimity on enhancing bilateral ties in education and training and people to people diplomacy.
The Australian Government continues to prioritise its official development assistance provision to Viet Nam , affirmed Minister Rudd, expressing his delight at the effective implementation of Australia ’s development projects in Viet Nam .
Deputy PM Khiem thanked the Australian Government for its annual increase in ODA for Viet Nam and 160 million AUD in aid provision for building Cao Lanh bridge in the country.
The two ministers exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern and affirmed their joint coordination and mutual support at the United Nations forums.
Minister Rudd also proposed both sides enhance cooperation in dealing with calamities and coping with climate change./.

Viet Nam, Australia step up cooperation

VNA 19/01/2011 - Vietnamese and Australian relations have blossomed in recent years in various fields including economics, trade, education and tourism.
The announcement was made by Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations Huynh Minh Thien and Australian Consul-General in HCM City Graeme Swift, at a meeting to mark the 223 rd anniversary of Australian Day in HCM City on January 19.
On economic cooperation between the two countries, Thien said that among Australia ’s ASEAN partners, Viet Nam had recorded the highest economic growth over the last five years and that bilateral economic relations would be furthered as Viet Nam would continue to reform its economic policies.
Australia has also supported Viet Nam in many fields, with official development aid (ODA) rising annually and reaching 119.8 million AUD in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Swift said that he was very pleased over the level of Australia ’s financial involvement’s projects in Viet Nam , especially in infrastructure, construction in the Mekong Delta, which had helped to improve the living standards of the local people.
Around 188,000 Vietnamese students studying in Australia have also contributed to the development of the relationship between both countries./.

Top leaders shake hands for Viet Nam-Australia ties

VNA 31/10/2010 - Australia will provide on an aid of 160 mln AUD for Viet Nam to build a key bridge and signed an action plan with the country after its Prime Minister met with three top leaders of Viet Nam on October 31.
PM Julia Gillard of Australia, who is in Viet Nam to attend the East Asia Summit and related summits, was received by Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and State President Nguyen Minh Triet and held talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Top on all these meetings was Australia’s aid worth 160 million Australian dollars to build the Cao Lanh bridge in Dong Thap province, which will help connect the entire Mekong Delta central region, and the Viet Nam-Australia action plan for the 2010-13 period.
During her meeting with the Vietnamese Party leader, the Australian Prime Minister pledged further official development assistance (ODA) and stronger support to Viet Nam for global integration, after informing him of the two above-mentioned accords.
Gillard also assured General Secretary Manh of Australia’s policy to respect relations with Viet Nam , which, she said, have been faring well in the recent past, especially in trade, investment, education-training and infrastructure.
She lauded Viet Nam ’s dynamism and responsibility as the ASEAN chair, saying the country has been playing an important role in promoting regional cooperation as well as relations between ASEAN and partner countries.
Viet Nam would continue develop steadily in a long-term run, emphasised the Australian Prime Minister.
In her meeting with State President Triet, Gillard congratulated Viet Nam on fulfilling its ASEAN chairmanship in 2010 as shown in successfully hosting the 17 th ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit and other relevant summits.
In reply, President Triet expressed satisfaction at the positive development of Viet Nam-Australia relations in the spirit of comprehensive partnership while appreciating Australia ’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as well.
He expressed thanks for Australia’s great and practical assistance to Viet Nam in national development, citing its aid to two major bridges, the cable-stayed My Thuan bridge, the first across the Mekong Delta, and the freshly-signed Cao Lanh bridge project.
During their talks, PM Dung described Australia ’s 160 million AUD Cao Lanh bridge project as important, benefiting millions of locals and contributing to traffic connection in the Mekong Delta.
For her part, Gillard said bilateral economic relations have made huge leap forward in the recent past but yet matched their potential.
She asked the Vietnamese government to help Australian businesses boost long-term investment in the country.
The Australian government leader pledged to provide good conditions for Vietnamese guest workers and boost cooperation in mining.
She also informed PM Dung of Australia’s decision to grant 350 scholarships for Vietnamese students as well as the opening of the RMIT chapter in Hanoi.
Host and guest both highlighted the recent fine development of bilateral relations as well as need for the two parties to work closer together in materialising the Viet Nam-Australia action plan for the 2010-13 period.
The action plan and the agreement on principles of the two governments on the Cao Lanh bridge project to connect the Mekong Delta central region took place in the presence of the two prime ministers after their talks.
The two accords are described as a legal foundation to boost bilateral cooperation in concrete areas in future./.

Vietnamese, Australian legislatures boost ties

A delegation from the National Assembly (NA) led by Deputy Chairman Uong Chu Luu visited Australia from June 23-28.

The delegation met with the President of the Senate, John Hogg, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bruce Scott, and worked with several Australian parliamentary agencies.

Senator Hogg praised the partnership agreement signed between the Vietnam ’s NA and the Australian House of Representatives in March 2008 and asked the Vietnamese legislature to extent the agreement to include the Australian Senate.

He also briefed his guests on the recent Prime Ministerial election.

During meetings, both parties reviewed the recent developments in Vietnamese and Australian ties in general and relations between the two legislative bodies in particular, especially after a comprehensive partnership was agreed upon during Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh’s visit to Australia in September 2009.

They exchanged views on judicial issues, the supervisory role of parliament and its committees, judicial reforms and preventing crime and corruption.

The Vietnamese delegation also met with the Australian Law Reform Commission and the New South Wales’ governmental committee on corruption./.

Vietnam Airlines promotes Hanoi’s image in Australia

VNPlus - The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, has got together with several major Australian tourism companies to launch a tourism campaign.

According to the airlines office in Australia ’s largest city, Sydney , the campaign aims to promote Hanoi ’s image before its forthcoming 1,000 th anniversary , was built on the price for two people tickets including flights and land services.

Currently, Australian tourism companies are working with hotels, resorts and tourist agencies in Vietnam to effectively carry out the campaign, which will run from April 9 to June 30.

According to Vincent Le, the Executive Director of Advance Australia, a leading tour operator, the price of two-people tickets, Vietnam Airlines offers to visitors from Sydney and Melbourne, are very attractive.

In 2009, the airlines office linked up with an Australian media company to launch a quiz on Hanoi . The winners will be awarded free business class tickets in March and April this year before they visit Vietnam for Hanoi ’s 1,000 th birthday.

The national flag carrier operates eight direct flights per week to Sydney and Melbourne and plans to increase the number in the future to meet the demands of overseas Vietnamese./.

Australian bank to buy 15 percent stake in VIB

VNPlus - The Vietnam International Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia reached a strategic cooperation agreement on April 21 in Hanoi.

Under the agreement, the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) will take a 15 percent stake in the Vietnam International Bank (VIB). The CBA intends to request an increase in investment to 20 percent at its earliest opportunity.

The investment is important to the development of the relationship between VIB and CBA. Under a technical support programme reached previously, CBA has sent banking experts to VIB to identify skills gaps and opportunities in critical business areas, including retail banking, rish management, human resources, IT, treasury and finance.

As part of the strategic partnership, a longer-term capitality transfer programme (CTP) will be established to further enhance the operational and commercial capabilities of VIB.

The two sides will also engage in an ongoing working partnership to investigate other business opportunities. CBA has extensive experience in CTP with a strong track record of commitments in China.

Han Ngoc Vu, Chairman of VIB, said, “The Commonwealth Bank’s track record in China is a great indication of how it works with strategic partners in Asia to create long-term sustainable value to a business.”

“For VIB, a strategic partnership and CTP with such a strong and trusted financial institution as the Commonwealth Bank, will help us improve our competitiveness in the fast growing financial service industry in Vietnam .”

VIB achieved a compound annual asset growth rate of more than 40 percent in the past five years and branches have grown from 30 to 117, said Vu.

Simon Blair, Head of International Financial Services at CBA, said that despite several years of challenging economic times around the world, Vietnam had remained in a good position for long-term growth. “We wanted to participate in and support that growth,” he said./.

Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation kicks off

VNPlus - Vietnam and seven other nations began their first negotiation round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Melbourne , Australia , on March 15.

The negotiators, also from Australia , New Zealand , the US , Singapore , Chile , Brunei , and Peru are expected to seat for four days, focusing their discussions obstacles in services, e-trade and green technology facing their businesses.

According to Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean, the TPP negotiation is very important as the pact will pave the way toward a long-term goal of a free trade area for the Asia-Pacific region.

The TPP will help strengthen economic integration within the region and work to support the Doha talks, which remain trapped in difficulties, said the Australian minister.

The TPP talks are expected to have four rounds of negotiation in 2010, with the next round scheduled for June.

The nations taken part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks are home to 470 million people and have a combined GDP of 16.2 trillion USD./.

Deputy PM Khiem welcomes Qatari minister

VNPlus - Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem received Qatar ’s Acting Minister of Business and Trade Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah in Hanoi on March 15.

The Deputy PM expressed his delight with the recent fine developments in the bilateral ties, especially after Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Qatar in March 2009.

He said he hoped to see the two sides coordinate closely in speeding up the progress of several cooperative projects and programmes, including a showroom of Vietnamese goods in Qatar , agricultural projects and a joint investment fund between the two countries.

The Qatar official engaged in an exchange with Deputy PM Khiem on measures to boost the implementation of projects and expressed his wish to cooperate more with Vietnam in areas such as real estate and charitable work./.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs - Vietnamese New Year Message

DFAT - On the occasion of the new lunar year of the tiger (Canh Dần), Australia extends to all Vietnamese wishes of health, happiness, success and prosperity for the Tet holiday. 2010 is the 1000th anniversary of the capital city of Hanoi and will be a special year for Vietnamese in Australia and worldwide.

As we enter the New Year, we have every confidence that the relationship between Australia and Vietnam will continue to deepen and prosper. Vietnam has been Australia’s fastest growing trading partner in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the past five years. Our economic relationship will continue to grow as Vietnam continues its economic reform process. The Australia-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, signed in September 2009 has elevated bilateral relations to a new level.

Australia welcomes Vietnam as the new Chair of the Association Nations and the East Asia Summit in 2010 and looks forward to continuing our close cooperation on regional issues.

Warm and extensive people to people relationships underpin bilateral ties between Australia and Vietnam. Australia is home to approximately 188,000 people who were born in Vietnam. Australia is an increasingly popular destination for Vietnamese students, with more than 24,000 studying in Australia in 2009. Tourism is also an important element in our relationship with over 210,000 Australians visiting Vietnam last year.

I wish you all good health, happiness, success and prosperity for the New Year.

Expatriates active in boosting bilateral ties with Australia

VNPlus 11/02/2010 - The Vietnamese community in Australia, including students, made critical contributions to the bilateral relations between the two countries, not only in the cultural area but also in economic and political fields, said Australian Governor General Quentin Alice Louise Bryce.

The remarks were made during her reception for the newly appointed Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia , Hoang Vinh Thanh, on Feb. 11 in Sydney .

Governor General Bryce said she was very impressed with the good performance of Vietnamese students studying in Australia , saying that they would be a bridge for an ever-developing relation between the two nations.

The growing number of Australian tourists coming to Vietnam not only to visit beautiful landscapes but also to experience Vietnam ’s culture, history and traditional values provides another foundation for the promotion of mutual cooperation in the future.

The Governor General took the occasion to call for Vietnam ’s support for Australia to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council during the 2013-2014 term.

Ambassador Hoang Vinh Thanh thanked Australia for the support it has provided Vietnam over the past years, which he said, has enabled the country to achieve significant progresses in economic development, poverty reduction and global integration.

The My Thuan bridge, Thanh said, is a vivid symbol for the fine relations between Vietnam and Australia . He said he wished that Australia would continue its support, especially in finance to help Vietnam complete the Cao Lanh bridge as scheduled.

He also called for Australia ’s cooperation and support in order for Vietnam to fulfil the role of ASEAN Chair in 2010.

At the end of the meeting, Ambassador Thanh conveyed an invitation from the State President of Vietnam to the Governor General of Australia to visit Vietnam in the nearest time possible./.

State leaders send congratulations to Australia

VNA 25/01/2010 - State President Nguyen Minh Triet on January 25 sent a message of congratulations to Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce on the occasion of Australia ’s 222nd Independence Day (January 26).
On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent message of congratulations to his counterpart Kevin Rudd./.

Australia, ADB help Vietnam fight climate change

VNA 13/01/2010 - Australia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have decided to grant 1.3 million USD to help Vietnam cope with potentially devastating impacts of climate change in Mekong Delta.
Technical assistance grants will be used to carry out a full assessment of the climate change threats posed to the Mekong Delta region, and the actions needed for it to adapt in the face of an expected sea-level increase and more frequent and severe floods, according to an ADB news release issued on Jan. 13.

Vietnam is one of the nations most at risk from climate change, and the Mekong Delta in the south, which is home to a fifth of the population, and the main producer of rice, is the most vulnerable region in the country, the Manila-based financial institution said.

Preliminary studies show that up to 31 percent of the total land used for agriculture and aquaculture in the delta is at risk from a potential one metre rise in the sea level by 2100. This would have severe effects on the lives of about 4.8 million people, including over a million and a half poor.

A number of development agencies are providing climate-change linked assistance to Vietnam , but there has been no comprehensive study undertaken of the potential impacts of extreme climate events on the Mekong region.

The technical assistance will have two parts – modeling and assessment work to determine the likely future climate conditions in the region and their impact, and identifying appropriate climate change adaptation measures for targeted areas and sectors.

The total cost of the project is 1.63 million USD equivalent, with the Australian government providing an 800,000-USD grant, which will be administered by ADB. ADB is supplying 500,000 USD from its Climate Change Fund, while the Vietnamese Government will provide the remaining 330,000 USD.

The project will be carried out from January 2010 to April 2011./.

PM Dung meets Australian leader

VNA - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Dec. 17.

PM Dung expressed his pleasure at development in relations between Vietnam and Australia.
He thanked Australia for its assistance to Vietnam’s environmental protection and fight against climate change. He also asked Australia to transfer advanced weather forecast technologies and results of climate change research to the Asia-Oceania region.
PM Dung took this opportunity to propose Australia to consider early negotiations on a vacation labour agreement and an agreement on recognition of quarantine, as well as expansion of cooperation in vocational training, and assistance for Cao Lanh bridge construction.
The two sides need to work together in developing a plan of action to implement comprehensive partnership documents reached during a recent visit to Australia by Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, stressed the Prime Minister.
Australian PM Kevin Rudd agreed with PM Dung’s views, saying that the two sides need to accelerate the action plan on implementation of the comprehensive partnership, which is expected to be signed during a visit to Vietnam by the Australian PM next year.
The two countries need to sign a memorandum of understanding to promote security and defence dialogue mechanism, PM Rudd said.
Regarding climate change issue, PM Rudd said he wished to promote bilateral cooperation in environmental protection and weather forecast./.

Vietnam marks Army Day in Australia

VNA 09/12/2009 - Vietnamese diplomats and members of the military and their Australian counterparts in Canberra reviewed the progress made in bilateral relations at a meeting held in Canberra on December 9 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (December 22).

The Australian guests included H.E. Ms Gilian Bird, Acting Secretary of the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; The Hon Peter Slipper, Member of the House of Representatives and Vice Chairman of the Australia-Vietnam Parliamentary Association; and Air Vice Marshall Geoffrey Brown, Deputy Chief of the Australian Air Force.

They all agreed that since the two countries first established diplomatic ties in 1973, they have both seen major progress in various fields, especially in security and national defence.

Australia opened its defence attaché office in Hanoi in February, 1999 while the Vietnamese office of defence attache was opened in Canberra in September, 2000.

In addition to a regular exchange of senior level visits to promote mutual understanding, the two armed forces have stepped up cooperation in anti-terrorist activities, border management, rescue work and relief aid for natural disasters and epidemics.

Australia has granted a number of scholarships to Vietnamese military officers and cadets to study in Australia and is one of the leading foreign donors to provide English training to the Vietnamese military.

The event, attended by numerous overseas Vietnamese and students studying at Australian universities, listened to Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tan review the Vietnamese army’s glorious history.

The army has made a great contribution to, not only the struggle for national salvation, but also to economic development, concluded the Vietnamese diplomat./.

New South Wales wants to boost ties with Vietnam

New South Wales (NSW) attaches great importance to strengthening all-round cooperation with Vietnam, said NSW Governor Marie Bashir.

Ms Bashir made the statement at a reception given by Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh in Hanoi on November 9.

She said she was happy to meet Mr Manh again in Hanoi during her visit to implement some of Australia’s Forever Study Fund projects in Vietnam.

She spoke highly of the results of Mr Manh’s recent visit to Australia, during which Vietnamese and Australian leaders agreed to raise the two countries’ relationship to the comprehensive partnership. She also congratulated Vietnam on its important achievements recorded in the Renewal process and global integration.

She affirmed that the Forever Study Fund will continue to provide assistance to Vietnam in the areas of education and community health through developing projects, training medical staff and increasing doctors’ research capacity.

For his part, Mr Manh acknowledged Ms Bashir’s contributions to bilateral cooperation in education and community health, especially through the governor-sponsored Forever Fund’s professional exchange and humanitarian projects. He expressed his belief that these projects will be successful, making a practical contribution to improving Vietnamese people’s health.

He said he hopes that the governor will continue to help promote the friendship and cooperation in not only health care, but also culture, education, economics and trade, between New South Wales and Vietnamese cities as well as between Australia and Vietnam.

Vietnam, Australia issue joint statement

VNA 09/09/2009 - Vietnam and Australia have released a joint statement as Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh concluded an official visit from September 6-9 at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
During the visit, the Vietnamese Party leader held talks with PM Kevin Rudd and other Cabinet ministers. 

Party General Secretary Manh also met with Governor General Quentin Bryce, Senate President John Hogg, Speaker of the House of Representatives Harry Jenkins, opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees and Governor Marie Bashir.
He also received representatives of the Australian National University and “Forever Study” Fund as well as met with representatives of the Vietnamese community and students in Australia .
The Vietnamese Party chief and the Australian PM had frank and open talks on all aspects of the bilateral relationship as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern. They reaffirmed importance of the bilateral relationship and the broad range of cooperation between Vietnam and Australia on global and regional issues. The two sides agreed to establish the Vietnam-Australia Comprehensive Partnership, which lays out a clear framework to strengthen the bilateral relationship through building multi-faceted cooperation, ongoing development assistance and technical cooperation to combat people smuggling and counter terrorism. The Party General Secretary and the Prime Minister agreed that officials from both countries would discuss and develop an Action Plan to take forward these interests.
PM Rudd congratulated General Secretary Manh on Vietnam ’s important achievements in economic reform and welcomed the country’s initiatives for further development. Party leader Manh applauded Australia ’s role as one of the long-term donors and partners in Vietnam ’s development. Both sides noted that Australia was one of the top ten donors to Vietnam , contributing development assistance estimated at 106 million AUD in the 2009-2010 period. Prime Minister Rudd reiterated Australia ’s commitment to assist during the design phase and looked forward to further positive consideration of the Cao Lanh Bridge in the Mekong Delta, subject to the outcomes of the Asian Development Bank feasibility study currently underway.
Both sides noted the substantial contribution of education links to the bilateral relationship, including by building close ties between people of both countries. The two leaders also recognised the support extended by the Australian government to Vietnam in training and exchange of experience on administrative reforms and anti-corruption. The Australian PM noted that Australia was a leading destination for Vietnamese students, with more than 20,000 Vietnamese enrolments in Australian courses. Australian education providers had also enjoyed great success in Vietnam , with more than 14,000 students studying in Vietnam for Australian qualifications.
The General Secretary and the Prime Minister acknowledged the dynamic bilateral trade and investment relationship between Vietnam and Australia , noting that it was Australia ’s fastest-growing trade relationship in ASEAN. The two leaders agreed that the Vietnamese economy offered favourable opportunities for Australian businesses and committed to continued cooperation in developing these opportunities.
The two leaders discussed the impact of the global economic and financial crisis and the international response to the crisis. There has been unprecedented international cooperation to stabilise the global economy and restore confidence, with a range of global and regional institutions playing an important role such as the UN, G20, APEC and ASEAN. The Prime Minister welcomed Vietnam ’s important efforts and successes in mitigating the impact of the crisis and achieving a growth target of around 5 percent in 2009. The General Secretary congratulated Australia on its impressive economic performance among OECD countries.
The two leaders agreed on the importance of continued trade growth and the need for an ambitious and balanced outcome to the WTO Doha Development Round of world trade negotiations as soon as possible. The Australian PM welcomed Vietnam ’s early ratification of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, a key platform for further growth in bilateral trade and investment. He also applauded Vietnam ’s participation in negotiations to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and looked forward to working constructively and cooperatively with Vietnam during the negotiations.
The two sides agreed to negotiate an agreement on science and research cooperation in order to enhance collaborative research between Australian and Vietnamese scientists, building on existing cooperation in health and agricultural research.
In recalling the agreement between PM Rudd and PM Nguyen Tan Dung to deepen their strategic engagement, both sides welcomed the regional security dialogue held at senior officials’ level in Hanoi on August 20-21, 2009. The two leaders also highly valued the effectiveness of other cooperation dialogues between the two countries, including the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue.
The General Secretary and the Prime Minister welcomed growing practical cooperation between Australian and Vietnamese government agencies, particularly in border security and combating transnational crime. The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Exchange of Immigration Information earlier this year and looked forward to the signing of an agreement to establish the Transnational Crime Centre in Ho Chi Minh City later in 2009.
Party leader Manh and PM Rudd expressed satisfaction with the excellent cooperation between Vietnam and Australia in the Asia-Pacific region and on global issues. The PM welcomed Vietnam ’s upcoming chairing of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2010 and wished to work closely with the country during its period as Chair. The two sides highly valued and agreed to continue promoting cooperation between the two countries in regional and international forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, EAS, APEC, WTO and the UN. The General Secretary affirmed that Vietnam would continue to support and promote cooperation between Australia and ASEAN. Vietnam took note of and supported continued discussion of Australia ’s initiative for an Asia-Pacific community and will positively consider Australia ’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2013-1014 term.
General Secretary Manh expressed his deep gratitude to the Government and people of Australia for the warm hospitality extended to him and the high-level Vietnamese delegation. He extended his invitation to PM Kevin Rudd to make an official visit to Vietnam at a mutually convenient time. The Australian PM accepted the invitation with pleasure./.

Vietnam, Australia look to comprehensive partnership

VNA 07/09/2009 - Vietnam and Australia have agreed to elevate bilateral relations to the level of a comprehensive partnership.

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reached this meeting of minds during their talks in Canberra on Sept. 7.
Both leaders expressed their delight at the rapid and effective development of their friendly and cooperative ties since Vietnam and Australia officially established diplomatic relations on February 26, 1973.
They spoke highly of progress in bilateral political cooperation through the increase of high-level meetings, and praised the efficiency of dialogue and cooperation mechanisms between the two countries, including the regional security dialogue and the Australia-Vietnam human right dialogue.
General Secretary Manh applauded Australia ’s move to become one of the largest donors for and long-term partners of Vietnam ’s development. He also appreciated and thanked Australia for its provision of official development assistance (ODA) to support Vietnam ’s socio-economic development, hunger elimination and poverty reduction, describing the Australian-funded My Thuan Bridge as a symbol of this bilateral relationship.
Host and guest affirmed their resolve to further expand and deepen friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Australia in the interests of their two peoples and for prosperity in each country, thereby contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.
The two leaders agreed to increase high-level meetings in different forms as well as visits at all levels and cooperation and consultation between sectors and ministries of the two nations.
Manh and Rudd agreed to beef up economic cooperation, especially in the fields of mining, light industry, processing, finance, and banking and services as well as escalating two-way trade.
They held that the two countries should encourage and create all possible favourable conditions for their businesses to invest in each other’s markets and expand close and durable cooperative ties, particularly in the post-global financial crisis period.
The two sides pledged to work together closely in order to effectively use Australian ODA capital. PM Rudd reiterated his government’s commitment to continuing granting aid to Vietnam , including the design and the possible funding of the Cao Lanh Bridge in the Mekong Delta.
PM Rudd asserted that the Australian government will increase the number of scholarships to Vietnamese university students and support Vietnam ’s doctoral training programme as well as training courses on administration, international law and English, designed for state employees.
Based on their current cooperation in health and agricultural research, the two sides decided to hold negotiations towards the signing of agreements in an effort to strengthen cooperation on scientific research between Australian and Vietnamese scientists.
Whilst discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, Manh and Rudd emphasised the need to promote Vietnam-Australia cooperation in regional and international organisations and forums, including the United Nations, the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
They noted that Vietnam and Australia should step up cooperation on global issues such as environmental protection, climate change, natural disaster and epidemic prevention and control, counter-terrorism, disarmament, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and fighting trans-national crime.
The Party leader highly praised and thanked Australia for its support for Vietnam in the country’s international integration process, including its accession to the APEC, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 term.
He confirmed his backing of continued discussions on Australia ’s initiative to set up an Asia-Pacific Community and promised active consideration of Australia ’s bid to run for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 tenure.
Party General Secretary Manh also promised to foster cooperative relations between Australia and ASEAN, especially when Vietnam takes over the group’s chair in 2010.
PM Rudd applauded Vietnam ’s support for Australia ’s efforts to become a member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in 2010, as well as its Asian integration at ASEAN and EAS. He pledged to assist Vietnam in its talks to join the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP).
On this occasion, Party General Secretary Manh invited PM Rudd to visit Vietnam . The Australian PM accepted the invitation with pleasure.
Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of documents to implement high-level agreements. Vietnamese Deputy PM Pham Gia Khiem and his Australian counterpart, Julia Gillard, signed these documents.
On the evening of Sept. 7, PM Rudd hosted a state dinner in honour of Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and his delegation./.

Vietnam, Australia sign MoU on judicial cooperation

VNA 08/09/2009 - The Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam, Truong Hoa Binh, and his counterpart from the Federal Court of Australia, Michel Black, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on an increased level of judicial cooperation between the two countries.

The MoU, signed in Hanoi on September 8 during a visit to Vietnam by a delegation from Australia’s Federal Court, is the legal basis for the two courts to build and put into action a number of joint initiatives.
Under the MoU, both sides will focus on technical cooperation programmes, especially between their judges and court officials.
At their meeting, the two chief justices highlighted the importance of the relationship between the two courts, saying that closer ties would bring about practical benefits for both countries.
The Federal Court of Australia has offered an effective and practical assistance to Vietnam over the past few years, especially in building “a Judges’ Handbook” and helping to enhance the capacity of Vietnamese judges, said Chief Justice Binh.
The Australian official said there had been a lot of progress made between the two courts.
He added that in the future the ties would be enhanced./.

PM approves FTA between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand

VGP – The PM just said okay to the Australia-ASEAN-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

AANZFTA was signed on February 27, 2009 in Thailand, marking the cooperation between all ASEAN members, including Việt Nam, and Australia and New Zealand in promoting economic and trade ties in the region.

Under the Agreement, up to 2018, ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand will abrogate at least 90% of tariff categories. They also pledged to establish a close cooperation mechanism to implement non-tariff measures.

AANZFTA is expected to be a driving force for closer and more effective economic cooperation between Việt Nam and Australia and New Zealand.

Australian supermarket group explores opportunities in Vietnam

VOV - The General Director of the Woolworths Australia Supermarket Group, Mark John, is scheduled to visit Vietnam from March 11-20 to study the market and negotiate with 33 local businesses over the purchase of Vietnamese-branded products.


Nguyen Huu Chi, Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in Sydney, says that the negotiations will allow Woolworths to purchase Vietnamese products directly from the producers and distribute them at its chain of supermarkets across Australia.
Woolworths is keen to import such Vietnamese products as rice, dried and canned fruits, coffee, packaged tea, canned fish, vegetables, mushrooms, peanuts and seafood. 

During his stay in Vietnam, Mark John will visit three southern agro-seafood processing factories and work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and representatives from some large supermarkets and food processing companies in Hanoi.

Vietnam seeks strengthened ties with Australia

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese government and people will try their utmost to further strengthen the multi-faceted relationship with Australia , particularly in the fields of economics, trade, investment and education.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made this statement during a reception for the Speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins, in Hanoi on January 7.

The government leader valued Speaker Harry Jenkins’ visit and expressed his pleasure at the recent developments in bilateral ties.

Australia is the fourth-largest export market for Vietnam , with two-way trade reaching 6 billion USD in 2008. The country is also implementing numerous large-scale projects in Vietnam .

Australia is now home to more than 9,000 Vietnamese students and post-graduates.
PM Dung made the suggestion that Australia consider allowing Vietnamese citizens to enjoy visa regulations similar to those offered by several other countries and expressed his hope that Australia would soon recognise Vietnam as a market-oriented economy.

He said he hoped that the two sides would sign agreements on labour cooperation and support for the construction of Cao Lanh Bridge in southern Dong Thap province in the near future.

He also affirmed that the Vietnamese government would work to facilitate and encourage Australian businesses’ investment in the country.

On this occasion, PM Dung thanked the Australian parliament and government for increasing its official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam and creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese expatriates in Australia .
Speaker Harry Jenkins informed the PM of the results of his talks with National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong and expressed his belief that the visit would actively contribute to the sustainable relationship between the two countries.

He said he was delighted at the developments in bilateral cooperation in the past, which has brought many practical benefits to both sides.

Vietnam and Australia have experienced excellent developments in socio-economic relations and have also cooperated closely at regional and international forums, contributing to the world’s peace, stability and development, Jenkins said.

He added that the Australian Minister of Immigration and Citizenship will visit Vietnam in the future to discuss specific agreements regarding the implementation of visa regulations for Vietnamese citizens.

Vietnam, Australia enhance legislative ties

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly (NA) Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed Australian Speaker of the House of Representatives Harry Jenkins and his delegation at a welcoming ceremony in Hanoi on Jan. 7.

The Australian legislator is on a visit to Vietnam from Jan. 5-11 at the invitation of Chairman Trong.

The Vietnamese legislative body would do its utmost to develop Vietnamese-Australian ties for the benefit and development of each country, and for peace and prosperity in the region and the world at large, Chairman Trong said during their talks following the ceremony.

The top Australian legislator suggested that the two legislative bodies seek cooperation measures to ensure the effective implementation of previously-reached agreements.

Increasing levels of cooperation between the two countries also contributes to peace, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific region, he said, adding that Vietnam and Australia should work more closely at regional and international parliamentary forums.

Sharing this view, NA Chairman Trong said the implementation of previous agreements would lift the two countries’ relations to new heights.

Vietnam recognises the importance of its ties with Australia and wishes to increase its friendly relationship and multifaceted cooperation with Australia across bilateral and multilateral fields, he said.

He also suggested that Australia , with its strength in capital, technology and management experience, continue to provide support to Vietnam throughout its industrialisation and modernisation processes.

Vietnam is currently trying to fulfill its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, the country is in need of support from other countries, including Australia, to ensure better implementation of the MDGs as it suffers from a lack of human resources, Trong said.

Jenkins confirmed that Australia is willing to support and help Vietnam to develop infrastructure and human resources training, as well as to deal with the effects of climate change.

NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong laid on a banquet in honour of his guest later that evening.

On Jan. 5, Speaker Jenkins worked alongside the Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council, Pham Phuong Thao.

The two sides shared their common interest in the possibility of working together in specific areas such as urban management, infrastructure and transportation development.

Projects such as the My Thuan and Phu My bridges are vivid demonstrations of the fine relationship enjoyed by the two countries, Jenkins said.

The Australian legislator spoke highly of the role of the Vietnamese community in his country as well as their contributions to developing the ties between the two nations.

NA Chairman: Cooperation with Australia important

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam values Australia ’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and attaches importance to promoting cooperation with the country, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong said on Jan. 2.

Chairman Trong noted the development in the two countries’ bilateral and multilateral relations over the recent past at his meeting with the new Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Allaster Cox.

The Vietnamese and Australian parliaments signed an agreement during Trong’s official visit to Australia in early 2008, creating a basis for further development of cooperation between Australian and Vietnam .

Trong, however, said that much remains to be done to further expand and intensify Vietnamese-Australian relations.

The Vietnamese National Assembly would do its best and support the government in implementing agreements signed between the two countries, he said.

Australia wants to build long-term sustainable relations with Vietnam , both bilaterally and multilaterally, especially within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, said Ambassador Cox.

The two parliaments’ cooperation would make important contribution to building the partnership and cooperation, he said, adding that an upcoming visit by the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins, is aimed at promoting this ties.

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