The Vietnamese Embassy in Australia held a ceremony to mark the 40 th anniversary of the Vietnam – Australia diplomatic ties in Canberra on February 25.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Hoang Vinh Thanh affirmed that since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties in 1973, the relations between Vietnam and Australia have seen positive development in various fields, including politics, economics, security, defence and education.

The relationship has flourished in both width and depth after the two countries established the comprehensive partnership in 2009. High-level exchanges and dialogues including visits by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith last year further deepened bilateral political and security cooperation, Thanh said.

In terms of economic relations, Australia is now the eighth largest trade partner and the 18 th biggest foreign investor in Vietnam. Two-way trade hit 5 billion USD in 2012, a fifteenfold increase from 20 years ago. Meanwhile, the people-to-people relations have laid an important social foundation to consolidate friendship and mutual understanding in all fields, such as culture, education, sports, information dissemination and trading.

Thanh said he hopes thanks to joint efforts by the two Governments and peoples, the Vietnam – Australia cooperation and friendship will continue to see strong growth.

On the occasion, Australian permanent Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese conveyed Australian leaders’ greetings to the Vietnamese Government and people.

Varghese stressed the importance of ties with Vietnam to Australia , a fact included in the “ Australia in the Asian century” white paper. He affirmed that the bilateral ties are growing comprehensively in politics, trade, investment, development assistance, border security, defence, trans-national crime combat and education.

The diplomat said he believes Vietnam will keep thriving economically and play an increasingly important role in the region and international arena.-VNA