|National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ with Australian Governor-General David Hurley during his official visit to Australia last year. — VNA/VNS Photo|
SYDNEY — The State visit to Việt Nam by Australian Governor-General David Hurley at the invitation of President Võ Văn Thưởng will deepen the goodwill and trust for the mutual benefit of both countries, said Dr Suiwah Leung, Honourary Associate Professor at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, she said the visit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations is important at the governmental/diplomatic level and supported by those at other levels, adding that in the case of Việt Nam and Australia, their relations at the academic level have been highly significant.
She said when đổi mới (Renewal) process was started in Việt Nam in the late 1980s, many talented Vietnamese scholars were chosen to come to the ANU to undertake studies in “market economics”. These scholars were funded by the Australian aid agency (AusAID), now part of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Upon completion of their studies, they returned home to their respective positions in the Vietnamese Government, academies and universities, and were largely responsible for implementing the various phases of economic reforms which resulted in Việt Nam’s becoming a middle-income country within about 20 years, and participating actively in regional and international organisations such as ASEAN and the World Trade Organisation.
Australian Government-funded scholarships in the region and in Việt Nam, in particular, have been generally regarded as one of the most effective forms of development assistance, she added.
The expert also said that rapid economic growth and development in Việt Nam has benefited both countries as Australian exports to Việt Nam have been growing at an average of around 12 per cent since 2013, and the export of education services, in particular, has seen more than 26,000 Vietnamese students studying in Australia by 2019.
There is room, however, for improvement in the export of other services such as tourism and IT, as well as more investments in Việt Nam on the part of the Australian business sector.
Meanwhile, schemes such as the New Colombo Plan have enabled more than 4,500 undergraduate students from Australian universities to spend time in Việt Nam learning about its people, culture, language and ways of doing business which should, in time, enhance business contacts and investment flows.
The recent establishment of the Việt Nam-Australia Centre at the Hồ Chí Minh National Academy of Politics in Hà Nội is very much welcomed, and shows the degree of goodwill and trust that has developed between the two countries, she added. — VNS