Sunday, 18/3/2018
Contributing to achieving Vietnam's foreign policy objectives
10/1/2018 9:27' Send Print
President of the Australian Senate Scott Ryan (right) and Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Tony Smith welcome National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. Photo: VNA

A solemn welcoming ceremony given to Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was co-organized by Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith, President the Senate Scott Ryan in Canberra. Both leaders warmly hailed the visit of Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, affirming that it was of important significance, contributing to consolidating the Vietnam-Australia enhanced comprehensive partnership, aiming to upgrade relations to strategic partnership in 2018.

During the visit, Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan held talks with the Australian counterparts, Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, Australian Foreign Minister and Deputy Leader of the ruling Liberal Party Julie Bishop, Governor of Western Australia Kerry Sanderson, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia Wayne Martin, President of Legislative Council of Western Australia Kate Doust, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia Lisa Baker; met with President of the Australia-Vietnam Friendship Association Kim Sampson, representatives of Vietnamese students funded by the new Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, and leaders of Alcoa Group and Austral Company. She also met with staff of the Vietnamese embassy and Vietnamese community in Australia, visited the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). She attended and delivered a speech at the Vietnam-Australia Business Dialogue jointly organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese embassy in Australia, the Consulate General of Vietnam in Perth and the Government of Western Australia.

At high level meetings and contacts, the two sides frankly exchanged many practical issues and areas, thus raising mutual understanding. The President of the Australian Senate invited Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and the Vietnamese delegation to attend a hearing of the Senate for 35 minutes.

Australian leaders highly appreciated Vietnam's successful organization of the APEC 2017 Summit, and expressed their delight that Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Malcolm Turnbull agreed to lift the two countries’ relationship to a strategic partnership in the near future. They said since diplomatic ties were set up nearly 45 years ago, Vietnam-Australia relations have developed unceasingly and comprehensively. Although far apart geographically, Vietnam is now the 15th biggest trade partner and ranks fifth among sources of foreign students in Australia. The number of Australian students in Vietnam has also increased rapidly over the last three years.

Leaders of Vietnam and Australia’s legislative bodies noted that bilateral relation has developed substantially and effectively, especially since the two countries established the comprehensive partnership in 2009 and the enhanced comprehensive partnership in 2015. Along with the rapid development of bilateral relation, the cooperation between the Vietnam and Australian Parliaments has also been developing. The two sides have successfully implemented the cooperation agreement signed in 2013 between the Vietnamese National Assembly and Australian Parliament. The visits of Speakers of the Australian House of Representatives Anna Burke in 2013 and Bronwyn Bishop in 2014 created new momentum for the relation between the two legislative bodies. The 14th National Assembly of Vietnam formed the Vietnam-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group headed by the Chairman of the National Assembly's Office and General Secretary of the National Assembly Nguyen Hanh Phuc.

In particular, the host leaders also showed their interest in the East Sea issue; shared the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region, resolving disputes by peaceful means based on international law. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian Foreign Ministry recently released the White Paper which touches upon the East Sea issue. The Australian leaders expressed their consistent viewpoint that all issues relevant to the East Sea must be handled with respect to law and compliance with international commitments and law, especially the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, the Netherlands on a related lawsuit last year. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said although Australia does not have interests pertaining to disputes in the East Sea, it wants other countries to ensure the freedom of navigation. Governor-General Peter Cosgrove also showed a clear stance on this problem.

Visiting the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Chairwoman witnessed the signing of the Program of Action between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnamese and the Australian Ministry of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The official visit to Australia of National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan successfully concluded, ending a year of vibrant parliamentary activity. Foreign visits of Vietnamese National Assembly delegations, as well as visits of Parliament leaders of other countries to Vietnam have left good impression on the relation between Vietnam’s National Assembly and Parliaments of other countries, contributing to achieving Vietnam's foreign policy objectives in international integration and development.

Thanh Anh