The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association (VAFA)’s Ho Chi Minh City Chapter on January 21 jointly held a ceremony to mark the 226 th anniversary of Australia Day (January 26).

Addressing the event, President of the VAFA’s HCM City Chapter Luong Van Ly said since Vietnam and Australia lifted their relationship to a comprehensive partnership in September 2009, the two countries’ linkage has developed strongly.

He reflected on their two-way trade in the first nine months of 2013 which reached 3.55 billion USD, representing a year-on-year increase of 10 percent.

The official highlighted the significant contributions made by Australian people in Vietnam as well as the Vietnamese community in the host country to the bilateral relationship.

He said Vietnam consistently pursues the policy of attaching importance to and wishing to further strengthen the comprehensive partnership with Australia , for the interests of the two countries’ people, and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

Australian Consul General in HCM City John McAnulty said Vietnam has seen significant development achievements, adding that Australia has closely cooperated with Vietnam and supported the country during its development process.

Commenting on an array of cooperation areas between the two countries, such as education, trade, investment, national defence and cross-border crime combating, he said Australia is making every effort to help Vietnam build necessary infrastructure.

Vietnam is the fourth largest aid receiver and one of the most important partners of Australia in Asia-Pacific, he said, voicing his hope that the time-tested economic ties between the two countries will continue developing in the future.-VNA