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Vietnam Today

Australian House Speaker paying visit

Released at: 18:07, 23/07/2018

Australian House Speaker paying visit

Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) welcomes Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith in Hanoi on July 23 (Photo: VNA)

Mr. Tony Smith in Vietnam from July 23 to 25.

by Le Diem

The Speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives, Mr. Tony Smith, will pay an official visit to Vietnam from July 23 to 25, as the two countries celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations and look to further strengthen the strategic partnership.

“The visit by the Speaker of the Australian Parliament is the third high-level visit by an Australian leader to Vietnam this year, after those by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop,” said Australian Ambassador in Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Craig Chittick. “This demonstrates the importance Australia attaches to the long-standing friendship and the newly-established strategic partnership with Vietnam.”

The Speaker will meet with National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in Hanoi to discuss ways to deepen the ties between the two legislatures and through that promote the two countries’ bilateral relations and contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Mr. Smith will also meet Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, State President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam.

In addition to high-level meetings the Speaker will also visit Australia’s social enterprise, KOTO, in Hanoi, attend a roundtable with members of Australia-Vietnam Young Leaders Dialogue, and visit Australian university RMIT in Ho Chi Minh City.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between Australia and Vietnam, with bilateral relations elevated to a strategic partnership by Prime Minister Phuc and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and during the former’s visit to Australia in March. Vietnam and Australia officially established diplomatic relations on February 26, 1973 and signed a comprehensive partnership in 2009 and a declaration on enhancing the bilateral comprehensive partnership in 2015.

Vietnam is one of Australia’s most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region. It is Australia’s 15th-largest trading partner, seventh-largest market for agricultural products, and fifth-largest source of international students. Australia currently ranks 19th out of 116 foreign investors in Vietnam, with total investment of $1.82 billion in 396 projects. Two-way trade reached $6.46 billion in 2017 and is expected to hit $10 billion by 2020. The two sides have already inked the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and actively engage in negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

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