|National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan holds talks with Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith.
Talks were held between National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith in Hanoi on July 23 immediately after a welcome ceremony for the latter.
The top Vietnamese legislator highlighted the Vietnam visit by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia as a great success and an important milestone for further developing the two countries’ strategic partnership in observance of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Tony Smith said this is his first visit to Vietnam with the aim of further promoting activities of the two legislative bodies as well as links between the two countries through high-level exchange visits.
Regarding trade and investment, Australia is now one of Vietnam's leading trade and investment partners with annual trade turnover expanding by over 7%, reaching nearly US$6.5 billion in 2017 and US$3.62 billion in the first half of this year.
With 416 investment projects worth US$1.8 billion, the Oceanic country ranks 20th out 126 countries and territories having investment in Vietnam. The Vietnamese NA leader highly appreciated Australia's continued facilitation of Vietnam’s farm produce.
According to House Speaker Tony Smith, Australia now has many successful businesses in the field of agriculture and is looking forward to furthering this goal in the future. He expressed a desire to learn more about Vietnam's agricultural sector.
Ngan said the Vietnamese side supports Australian businesses in increasing their investments in the country, especially in the fields of Vietnam’s high demand such as energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance- banking, mining, manufacturing, high-tech agriculture, education, and tourism.
She praised Australia’s continued priority given to ODA funding for Vietnam. In particular, the inauguration of Cao Lanh Bridge on May 27 is seen as evidence of Australia’s effective support for the socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.
Ngan asked Australia to continue supporting the areas of Vietnam's needs such as infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and high-quality human resource development.
The two NA leaders agreed that in terms of defense and security, the two countries' relations have become more and more substantial, reliable and stable, especially closer coordination in their participation in the UN peacekeeping forces, anti-terrorism and transnational crime, and English training.
Ngan welcomed Australia navy ships’ continued goodwill visits to Vietnam as a way to strengthen the capacity of the Vietnamese coast guard. She said she hopes Australia supports Vietnam in bomb and landmine clearance, providing information on missing Vietnamese soldiers as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015.
|Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith (third from left).
Concerning the East Sea situation, both sides voiced support for and agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region, and settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law.
They emphasized culture, tourism and education as important aspects that have seen positive developments to promote people-to-people exchange. Students and businesspeople are able to become "ambassadors" in the two countries’ diplomatic relations, they added.
Ngan and her Australian guest also expressed their elation at the relationship between the two legislatures, which has been constantly growing steadily based on signed agreements between the two nations, delegation exchange at all levels, experience sharing in parliamentary activities, increased understanding and tightened bilateral cooperation, regular meetings, close coordination and mutual support at multilateral parliamentary forums.
The NA Chairwoman thanked the Parliament of Australia for supporting Vietnam's National Assembly in successfully organizing the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF 26) in last January.
Ngan asked the two law-making bodies to intensify mutual visits to share legislative experience, supervise and support their respective Governments to realise the commitments in the Plan of Action for 2016-2019 and other agreements, create more favourable conditions for people-to-people exchange, and enhance the role of parliamentary friendship groups and friendship associations in each country.
Later the same day, she hosted a banquet in honour of Speaker Tony Smith and his delegation.
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith is leading a high-level parliamentary delegation to visit Vietnam from July 23-25 at the invitation of NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.