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Vietnam Today

Australian Governor-General in Vietnam

Released at: 16:27, 23/05/2018

Australian Governor-General in Vietnam

Photo: Embassy of Australia

May 22 to 25 visit to mark 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam.

by Le Diem

At the invitation of State President Tran Dai Quang, the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honorable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Lady Cosgrove arrived in Vietnam on May 23 to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam during a State visit to May 25.

This is the second visit by an Australian Governor-General and will include more than 20 events.

Following the signing of the Australia - Vietnam Strategic Partnership in March, the Governor-General’s visit will highlight the growing bilateral relationship underpinned by strong education, business, defense, and people-to-people ties.

In Hanoi, the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove will meet members of the Australian community before receiving a ceremonial welcome from President Quang. He is also scheduled to meet with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, following a wreath laying ceremony at the Martyrs’ Memorial.

While in the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City the visiting delegation will join senior Vietnamese representatives to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations. They will visit Vietnamese Peacekeepers, in recognition of the growing defense relationship, and will acknowledge the strong education and business links between both countries at RMIT University.

General-Governor Cosgrove was born in Sydney in 1947. The son of a soldier, he attended Waverley College in Sydney and graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He undertook active military service in Vietnam, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1971.

“Vietnam is one of Australia’s most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Craig Chittick, told the launch of celebrations for 45 years of diplomatic relations. “Over the last 45 years our two countries have built a strong partnership that now encompasses political exchanges, economic development, security cooperation, and innovation collaboration.”

Established in 1973, bilateral links between Vietnam and Australia have developed significantly since the establishment of diplomatic relations. Government-to-government relations draw strength from shared strategic interests in maintaining peace and stability in the region based on international law, a trading relationship that has been Australia’s fastest-growing among the larger ASEAN economies in recent years, enduring educational links (the 22,500 Vietnamese in Australia are the fourth-largest group of foreign students in the country), and Vietnamese recognition of Australia’s role as a constructive and generous aid donor. The relationship has matured into one of Australia’s most important in the region despite differences in systems and political values.

In 2015, Australia and Vietnam elevated the bilateral relationship to an Enhanced Comprehensive Partnership during a visit to Australia from March 16 to 18 by then-Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and a delegation of ministers and senior business representatives. This reflected Australia and Vietnam’s mature and diverse bilateral relationship, encompassing wide-ranging cooperation on political issues, trade and investment, security and defense, policing, immigration, and combating transnational crime, people smuggling, and human trafficking.

The Australia - Vietnam Plan of Action (2016-2019), listing areas of cooperation under the Enhanced Comprehensive Partnership, was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Canberra on November 30, 2016.

A strong program of two-way visits and dialogues has strengthened relations at senior levels. The Minister of Public Security and Minister of Industry and Trade made separate visits to Australia in 2016 and Australian ministers visited Vietnam during its APEC 2017 host year.

Prime Minister Phuc’s visit in March turned a new page in the bilateral relationship, which is scheduled to be upgraded to a strategic partnership. The two countries’ leaders discussed and outlined orientations and measures and signed cooperative agreements to strengthen and further deepen the fine friendship and cooperation.

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