Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh (R) and Chief Minister of the Northern Territory of Australia Michael Gunner (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on November 7 hosted a reception for Chief Minister of the Northern Territory of Australia Michael Gunner who is on a visit to Vietnam from November 6-9.

At the meeting, both sides expressed their delight over the achievements in the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership in recent times, especially in the realms of politics, defence, trade, education, and agriculture.

By the end of this year’s third quarter, two-way trade had reached 5.72 billion USD, up 20 percent from the same period in 2017. In addition, the two countries had made concerned efforts to promote relations between their localities, they said, particularly ties between the Northern Territory and Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Khanh Hoa, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau as noteworthy.

Deputy PM Minh said that Vietnam and Australia’s Northern Territory hold huge potential to boost cooperation in marine and air transportation, as well as tourism.

Laying stress on Vietnam’s interest in developing high-tech agriculture, human resources training, and science-technology, Minh hoped that leaders of the Northern Territory will grant further scholarships to Vietnamese students through the Northern Territory Government’s “Study in Australia’s Northern Territory” (StudyNT) programme.

He also hoped that the Northern Territory would expand its favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese living and working in the locality.

Michael Gunner, for his part, affirmed that the Northern Territory always attaches importance to strengthening bonds with Vietnam and that it stands ready to bolster cooperation in trade, investment, and education, while also considering collaboration in transport and tourism with the Southeast Asian country.

The Northern Territory will facilitate conditions for low-cost carrier Vietjet Air to open an air route to the city of Darwin next year, he said, adding that Vietnamese corporations, including Vingroup and TH True Milk, are welcome to land investments in the territory, particularly in the fields of its strength like husbandry, plantation, and tourism.

On the occasion, Deputy PM Minh and his Chief Minister Gunner witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Northern Territory’s Chamber of Commerce.

During his stay, Michael Gunner has working sessions with Minister of Education Phung Xuan Nha, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, as well as Vietnamese businesses operating in trade, agriculture, education, and transport. –VNA