Former Australian Ambassador: Vietnam has developed enormously hinh anh 1A VNA correspondent and former Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Richard Broinowski at his house. (Source: VNA)

Former Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Richard Broinowski has lauded Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements, saying the country has developed enormously over the past years.

He made the praise in an interview granted to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent at his house in Sydney on the occasion of 70 years of the August Revolution and National Day (September 2).

He said when he was ambassador in Vietnam, from 1983 to 1985, he found a country that was poor, damaged after many years of war. It was only a number of years since the fall of Sai Gon in 1975, Vietnam was not a popular country at that time in Asia.

However, when he was back to Vietnam, he saw a country that has developed enormously, he said, noting that its economy is much better than it was before, with roads and electricity improved and the villagers rehabilitated.

“You are a big rice exporter now, and tourism of course is good as well. I feel like there is a certain degree of pride and happiness to see the way Vietnam has developed. You are respected in ASEAN and you have been making a lot for the group,” he said.

According to the former Ambassador, Australia regards Vietnam as a friend and a country it does business with. There are a lot of Australians who run hotels and get involved in tourism activities in the Southeast Asian nation.

However, he emphasised the need for closer connections between the two countries, stating that Australia should have more projects in sectors such as new energy development, science-technology and infrastructure.

He went on to say that more and more Vietnamese students come to study in Australia, providing a great opportunity for both countries to promote their relationship. He added he has a programme to send students in journalism from the University of Sydney where he is adjunct professor to Asian countries to work in newspapers.

Infrastructure is another potential field for bilateral cooperation as Australia is good at urban development, design, planning and building, he noted.

Regarding the role of Vietnam in Southeast Asia, especially after the ASEAN Community is formed at the end of this year, Richard Broinowski said that Vietnam is valued by ASEAN countries and it should take the leadership role in addressing issues facing the region in the time to come.-VNA