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50th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic ties celebrated in Hanoi

The Embassy of Australia held a meeting in Hanoi on February 24 evening to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam -Australia diplomatic ties (February 26, 1973 - 2023).

In his remarks, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski affirmed that establishing diplomatic relations with Vietnam was one of the first foreign policies of the Australian government led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

The year 1973 also marked the opening of the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, which has served as a bridge of cooperation between the two countries, he said.

Mentioning milestones in the bilateral relations, the diplomat said Australia was one of the pioneers in investing in Vietnam right after the Southeast Asian nation opened its economy in the 1980s, with the presence of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), RMIT University, and Telstra - Australia's leading telecommunications and technology company.

He also highlighted fruitful cooperation between the two countries in education, national defence and security, agriculture, culture and tourism.

Present at the ceremony, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son noted that since the establishment of the diplomatic ties, the Vietnam-Australia relationship has been developing sustainably and rapidly.

In 2009, the two countries elevated the relationship to a comprehensive partnership, and issued a joint statement on the establishment of a strategic partnership in 2018, the minister said.

Vietnam and Australia have become reliable partners of each other both bilaterally and multilaterally, he stressed.

They are also among the top ten trading partners of each other, with two-way trade hitting 15.7 billion USD last year, doubling the figure recorded before 2018, he said, adding that Australia’s official development assistance (ODA) has significantly contributed to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

The bilateral collaboration in national defence and security, agriculture, labour and climate change response has been expanded, benefiting both sides, according to the minister.

Son also highlighted people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in education and tourism, saying people-to-people exchanges will create a good premise for the bilateral relationship to grow further in the time to come.

Vietnam has received Australia’s support in its efforts to run for seats at international organisations, with the most recently the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 tenure, he continued.

The Royal Australian Air Force also helped to carry Vietnamese soldiers to Africa for UN peacekeeping missions, the minister added.

Son expressed his belief with reciprocal economies, great potential of each country and increasing political trust, the Vietnam-Australia relationship will be advanced to a new height, for the sake of their people and for an Asia-Pacific region of peace, cooperation and prosperity./.