Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets with Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith in Hanoi on July 24 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a meeting in Hanoi on July 24 with Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith, who said his country will keep assisting Vietnam in the latter’s development process.

PM Phuc highly valued the Australian parliament leader’s visit to Vietnam, which he said will help enhance the countries’ strategic partnership, including parliamentary relations.

Speaker Smith said his visit this time aims to strengthen ties between the two parliaments, Governments and peoples.

Talking about the recent inauguration of Cao Lanh Bridge in Dong Thap province, he said the Australian-funded facility will not only help improve local people’s life and socio-economic development but is also an important symbol of bilateral ties.

The Australian parliament always wants to step up cooperation with the National Assembly and Government of Vietnam, he said, adding that after this trip, his delegation will convey their good impression of the Southeast Asian nation to the Australian parliament so as to bolster bilateral connections in all aspects.

PM Phuc said amid the thriving strategic partnership, Vietnam is exerting efforts to realise the two countries’ joint statement signed last March. While bilateral trade has been on the rise, the two sides have coordinated closely at regional and international forums for the sake of peace and development.

[Infographics: Vietnam-Australia Strategic Partnership]

He wanted the two sides to continue reinforcing substantive cooperation, especially in pillar and potential areas such as economy-trade-investment, security-defence, education-training, science-technology, hi-tech agriculture, and development assistance.

Vietnam is resolved to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this year and will work closely with Australia to implement this trade pact, he noted.

The PM affirmed that the Vietnamese National Assembly and Government appreciate and want Australia to continue supporting ASEAN and Vietnam’s viewpoint on the East Sea issue, and promoting the serious and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and efforts to achieve a Code of Conduct in the waters.

Sharing his guest’s view on the significance of Cao Lanh Bridge in the two countries’ cooperation, the host leader said he hopes that Australia will keep supporting Vietnam in such fields as infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, poverty reduction and climate change response.

He appreciated Australia’s continuation of official development assistance for Vietnam, asking both sides to coordinate more closely to successful organise activities marking 45 years of their diplomatic ties and 20 years of defence relations, thereby contributing to the political trust and mutual understanding between leaders and peoples of the two nations.

At the meeting, the Speaker of the Australian lower house expressed his support for PM Phuc’s proposals on intensifying bilateral relations. 

He said there have been thousands of Vietnamese students in Australia while more and more Australian students have come to Vietnam to take part in community activities and explore the country. They serve as an effective bridge helping to deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples. 

Tony Smith affirmed that Australia will continue assisting the development process of Vietnam. It also respects the freedom of navigation, which is a consistent policy the country has advocated in not only Australia or Vietnam but also anywhere else in the world.

The CPTPP is also an important issue for Australia, he said, noting that his country will actively coordinate with Vietnam in this matter so as to help bring common benefits to members of the agreement.-VNA