Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on May 24 had a meeting with Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove, who is on a State visit to Vietnam from May 23-26.

Expressing his pleasure to meet the Australian Governor-General, Prime Minister Phuc recalled his impression on the land and people of Australia during his official visit to the country to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March.

As part of the efforts to deepen the sound bilateral cooperation, the Government leader suggested both sides work to complete the Vietnam-Australia Plan of Action 2016-2019 and accelerate the realization of contents agreed in the joint statement on the establishment of the Vietnam-Australia Strategic Partnership.

New mechanisms and frameworks should be set up to enhance partnerships in the fields of economy, agriculture, innovation, he said, noting that measures to increase two-way trade and investment should be stepped up, including the reduction and elimination of trade barriers and facilitation of activities of both nations’ businesses.

Peter Cosgrove, for his part, expressed his elation to have the first visit to Vietnam on the occasion of 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and 20th anniversary of defence relations between the two countries.

He agreed with PM Phuc on measures to boost bilateral relations, recommending that both sides need to fully tap their strengths to enhance collaboration in education-training, labour, culture, sports and tourism, and further people-to-people exchange, thus strengthening their friendship and mutual understanding.

He applauded Australia’s continued provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam, which focuses on the sectors of Vietnam’s need like infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, poverty elimination, climate change response, and development of high-quality workforce.

Also, he spoke highly of both sides’ efforts to complete Cao Lanh Bridge on schedule to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

At the meeting, PM Phuc and the Australian guest agreed that political trust has been increasingly tightened thanks to regular delegation exchanges and meetings at all levels.

Regarding regional and international issues, the leaders lauded the Vietnam-Australia sound cooperation at the UN, ASEAN and other multilateral forums, affirming close coordination in dealing with the East Sea issue as well as implementing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP).

Australia is now the eighth biggest trade partner of Vietnam. Two-way trade records annual average growth of over 7 percent, reaching nearly 6.5 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 22.2 percent.

The country ranks 19th among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 414 investment projects in industry and construction, processing industry, services, education, and agro-forestry-fisheries.-VNA