Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) hosts a reception for Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on May 28. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception in Hanoi on May 28 for Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, during which they highly evaluated the fruitful development of bilateral relations in recent years.

PM Phuc highly spoke of the Australian FM’s visit, saying it takes places right after the successful visit to Vietnam from May 23-26 by Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove to translate the Vietnam-Australia reliable and profound strategic partnership into reality.

The government leader also hailed the outcomes of earlier talks between Bishop and Vietnamese Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh.

PM Phuc thanked the Government and people of Australia for funding the construction of cable-stayed Cao Lanh Bridge in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap. The bridge reflects the long-standing friendship between the two nations, he said, adding that the Vietnamese people look forward to the enhancement of cooperation with Australia in different fields.

Bishop, for her part, emphasized the importance of fostering the implementation of the Vietnam – Australia strategic partnership to deepen bilateral ties.

She was delighted at the strengthened and enhanced mutual trust between the two nations with the inauguration of the Cao Lanh Bridge as a symbol of effective cooperation. She hoped that the bridge will benefit local residents and promote the socio-economic development of the Mekong Delta.

The FM said she was pleased to know that more and more Australian investors are doing business in Vietnam and that Australia wants to step up collaboration with Vietnam in many areas, particularly innovation.

PM Phuc agreed with FM Bishop’s cooperation proposals, saying the two countries need to soon implement the contents of the strategic partnership and agencies must work together to remove barriers and bolster investment and trade exchange for the benefit of their businesses and people.

Bishop has been on a visit to Vietnam from May 26-28 during which she attended the inauguration of the Cao Lanh Bridge and co-chaired the inaugural Australia-Vietnam Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

The Cao Lanh Bridge spans over the Tien River to connect the provincial capital of Cao Lanh and Lap Vo district. The 2km-long bridge is about 0.8 km from the Cao Lanh ferry terminal and about 35 km from My Thuan Bridge, which links Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces.

It is estimated that the bridge will help reduce the travel time from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, An Giang and Kien Giang by 2 hours. Before the bridge was inaugurated, local people had to take ferry to cross the Tien River.

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