I am here with my very good friend, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Minh, and I am delighted to be back in Vietnam and to meet in Hanoi.
We see each other - on many occasions - in Australia, in Vietnam and at meetings around the world, but it is always a pleasure to be here to meet with you, and this is a particularly auspicious occasion because it represents the inaugural Foreign Ministers’ Meeting between Australia and Vietnam.
This is building on the Strategic Partnership that our respective Prime Ministers signed earlier this year in Canberra, and it is important that we maintain this high-level of engagement and we look forward to hosting you in Australia again for the next Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
It is also appropriate that in this 45th year of diplomatic relations, Australia’s Governor-General should visit Vietnam, and I thank you for hosting him. He had a very successful time here and deeply appreciated your warm welcome.
Our relationship has been growing deeper, stronger and more broadly over the years and now culminating in our Strategic Partnership, it defines how our partnership will go forward.
At a government-to-government level we are trusted friends and partners. It is very exciting that business ties between our two countries are also increasing dramatically, with more trade and investment between our two countries, but I always think that the strength of our relationship comes from the people-to-people connections and we are very proud of the Vietnamese-Australian community. About 300,000 Australians claim Vietnamese heritage and they have made an enormous contribution to the rich fabric of Australian society.
So as partners in trade and commerce, as strategic partners facing regional challenges and opportunities, I look forward to Australia and Vietnam continuing to share ideas, exchange experiences and continue to work together to deliver peace, prosperity and security for our citizens and for our region.
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