Man, who is on a working visit to Australia from December 6-10, thanked Australia for providing official development assistance for Vietnam to build key infrastructure works, especially My Thuan and Vam Cong bridges in the Mekong Delta.
He expressed his belief that the upgrade of bilateral ties to strategic partnership level in the future will meet the aspiration of the two States and peoples, and asked for joint work to hold people-to-people diplomatic activities on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
On national defence-security ties, Man sought the Australian government and parliament’s continued support in overcoming war consequences in Vietnam. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on dealing with post-war bomb and mine consequences in March 2015.
He suggested Australia continue providing scholarships and extending assistance for Vietnam in vocational, English and international law expert training, noting that education-training and tourism help raise mutual understanding between the two peoples.
The guest also expressed thanks to Australian statesmen for their consistent stance on the East Sea issue.
The leader of Vietnam’s largest mass organisation took the occasion to urge the Australian parliament and government to continue providing support for 350,000 Vietnamese nationals in the country, including 30,000 students, as well as facilitate the preservation of Vietnamese culture and language in the Vietnamese community.
Smith, for his part, described each Vietnamese living in Australia as a cultural ambassador to foster ties between the two countries.
In the East Sea issue, he underscored the need to maintain peace, stability and a regional order based on international law; ensure security, safety and maritime and aviation freedom. He also stressed that parties concerned must not use force or threat to change the status quo in the waters.
Disputes should be settled by peaceful means in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said.
He told Man that he will pay an official visit to Vietnam next year at the invitation of National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
In the afternoon the same day, VFF President Man and Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam held a working session with Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia Anne Ruston.
Man expressed his delight that Vietnam’s litchi, dragon fruit and mango have been allowed to enter Australia for the first time. He suggested that Australia consider importing live shrimp, longan and apple from Vietnam in the near future.
He thanked Australia for providing Vietnam with financial resources and expertise to effectively develop agriculture, rural areas and protect water resources over the past years.
Ruston, in reply, promised to consider resuming import of Vietnamese live shrimp and called for the early building of a set of regulations on the import-export of farm produce and aquatic products, thus facilitating the trade of products of Vietnam’s strength and Australia’s demand.
During a working session with Secretary of the Department of Social Services Kathryn Campbell later, the VFF leader inquired into models to improve social welfare quality in the host country, particularly for the vulnerable and unemployed people in working age.
The guest proposed Campbell works closely with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to offer support to those who are vulnerable to impacts of climate change and rising sea level in the Mekong Delta.
Mentioning the Vietnamese community in Australia, Secretary Campbell said many Australian firms are keen on hiring Vietnamese workers who she said, are hard-working and eager to learn, adding that it is Vietnam’s advantage to attract foreign investors.