PM Julia Gillard of Australia, who is in Viet Nam to attend the East Asia Summit and related summits, was received by Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and State President Nguyen Minh Triet and held talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Top on all these meetings was Australia’s aid worth 160 million Australian dollars to build the Cao Lanh bridge in Dong Thap province, which will help connect the entire Mekong Delta central region, and the Viet Nam-Australia action plan for the 2010-13 period.
During her meeting with the Vietnamese Party leader, the Australian Prime Minister pledged further official development assistance (ODA) and stronger support to Viet Nam for global integration, after informing him of the two above-mentioned accords.
Gillard also assured General Secretary Manh of Australia’s policy to respect relations with Viet Nam , which, she said, have been faring well in the recent past, especially in trade, investment, education-training and infrastructure.
She lauded Viet Nam ’s dynamism and responsibility as the ASEAN chair, saying the country has been playing an important role in promoting regional cooperation as well as relations between ASEAN and partner countries.
Viet Nam would continue develop steadily in a long-term run, emphasised the Australian Prime Minister.
In her meeting with State President Triet, Gillard congratulated Viet Nam on fulfilling its ASEAN chairmanship in 2010 as shown in successfully hosting the 17 th ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit and other relevant summits.
In reply, President Triet expressed satisfaction at the positive development of Viet Nam-Australia relations in the spirit of comprehensive partnership while appreciating Australia ’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as well.
He expressed thanks for Australia’s great and practical assistance to Viet Nam in national development, citing its aid to two major bridges, the cable-stayed My Thuan bridge, the first across the Mekong Delta, and the freshly-signed Cao Lanh bridge project.
During their talks, PM Dung described Australia ’s 160 million AUD Cao Lanh bridge project as important, benefiting millions of locals and contributing to traffic connection in the Mekong Delta.
For her part, Gillard said bilateral economic relations have made huge leap forward in the recent past but yet matched their potential.
She asked the Vietnamese government to help Australian businesses boost long-term investment in the country.
The Australian government leader pledged to provide good conditions for Vietnamese guest workers and boost cooperation in mining.
She also informed PM Dung of Australia’s decision to grant 350 scholarships for Vietnamese students as well as the opening of the RMIT chapter in Hanoi.
Host and guest both highlighted the recent fine development of bilateral relations as well as need for the two parties to work closer together in materialising the Viet Nam-Australia action plan for the 2010-13 period.
The action plan and the agreement on principles of the two governments on the Cao Lanh bridge project to connect the Mekong Delta central region took place in the presence of the two prime ministers after their talks.
The two accords are described as a legal foundation to boost bilateral cooperation in concrete areas in future./.