Australian Minister to visit Vietnam hinh anh 1Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Source: VNA)

Sydney (VNA) – Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will pay a visit to Vietnam from May 26-28 to open the Cao Lanh Bridge with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and co-chair the inaugural Australia-Vietnam Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

The minister said in a media release on May 26 that Australia has co-financed the design and construction of the Cao Lanh Bridge as part of a major new transport project that will help connect 18 million people in the Mekong Delta with regional markets and drive economic growth.

Australia’s 160 million AUD (over 121 million USD) investment in the project is one of the country’s largest aid activities in Southeast Asia.

The Cao Lanh Bridge is a visible symbol of the depth of the Australia-Vietnam relationship, now formalised as a Strategic Partnership, and demonstrates Australia’s commitment to build closer linkages across the Indo-Pacific region, to bring people together and encourage greater trade and investment, she noted.

Meanwhile, the inaugural Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is a direct outcome of the new Strategic Partnership between Australia and Vietnam, signed by Prime Ministers Turnbull and Phuc prior to the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March.

Australia and Vietnam are celebrating 45 years of diplomatic relations this year, she said, noting that strong community and personal ties are the basis of the relationship, marked by 300,000 members of the Vietnamese community in Australia - one of the largest migrant communities in the country.

Julie Bishop said she looks forward to discussing with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh how Australia and Vietnam can expand their collaboration, particularly on important regional issues relating to stability, security and prosperity.

Cao Lanh bridge in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, spanning over the Tien River and linking Cao Lanh city and Lap Vo district, is located about 0.8 kilometre from Cao Lanh ferry and about 35 kilometres from My Thuan bridge, which connects Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces.

The 2,000-metre long bridge is expected to make significant contributions to improving road traffic network, boosting social and economic development and consolidating defence and security in the Mekong Delta region, which is not only a rice granary and the third largest industrial centre in Vietnam but also one of the most productive agricultural and aquaculture areas in the world.-VNA