Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh (L) meets with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Sydney on April 26 (Photo: VNA)

Sydney (VNA) – Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Sydney on April 26 as part of her trip to attend the 2018 Global Summit of Women in the Australian city.

Vice President Thinh said Vietnam always treasures and wants to strengthen relations with Australia, noting that the elevation of bilateral ties to a strategic partnership will create a foundation for their relations to grow more strongly.

She expressed her delight at trade and investment connections. While bilateral trade has grown by over 7 percent each year to nearly 6.5 billion USD in 2017, Australia now have 412 investment projects with total capital of 1.8 billion USD in Vietnam.

She highly valued Australia’s official development assistance for Vietnam, especially for the building of Cao Lanh Bridge in Dong Thap province that will be completed this May as scheduled.

The Vice President agreed to augment cooperation in education, tourism and people-to-people exchange, considering these fields the two countries’ strengths to reinforce friendship and mutual understanding. She affirmed that Vietnam will work closely with Australia to implement the New Colombo Plan.

Minister Bishop, who led the Australian delegation at the Global Summit of Women, said Australia was satisfied with and highly valued the outcomes of the official visit to her country by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as well as Vietnam’s participation in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, hosted by Australia for the first time last March.

She said that Vietnam is one of the priorities in her country’s foreign policy. She applauded increased exchanges of high-level delegations, asking the two sides to promote bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including the joint committee at the ministerial level.

The official also spoke highly of the role of the Vietnamese community in Australia’s socio-economic development. She noted that her country is always ready to cooperate to solve issues that could affect Vietnam and bilateral ties on the basis of Australia’s regulations and policies.

With regard to the East Sea issue, Minister Bishop affirmed that Australia always attaches importance to the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight over the East Sea, as well as the settlement of sea-related disputes basing on international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The two sides agreed to continue working closely at regional and international forums. Vice President Thinh thanked Australia for supporting Vietnam in APEC Year 2017 and its candidacy for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh receives Governor of New South Wales David Hurley (Photo: VNA)

Also on April 26, Vice President Thinh received Governor of the Australian state of New South Wales David Hurley. She noted with satisfaction the cooperation between Vietnamese localities and New South Wales, especially in trade and investment. She said with its strength in industry, agriculture, finance and services, the state will become the leading locality in fostering ties with Vietnam.

Governor Hurley lauded Vietnam’s attainments in ensuring gender equality, adding that the country’s participation in the Global Summit of Women not only affirms the development of Vietnamese women but also help inspire women in Australia and the world.

He promised to create conditions for Vietnamese localities to seek and set up cooperative ties with New South Wales. He also agreed to cooperate strongly to ensure the Vietnamese community is united and contribute to the development of each country and Vietnam-Australia relations.-VNA