May 23 – The Australian government announced that it will raise the level of official development assistance (ODA) in 2011-2012 up to US$145.77 million – an increase of 82 percent over the 2010-2011 value.
Allaster Cox, Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam, has said that the increase in ODA exhibits Australia’s ongoing long-term commitment to assist Vietnam in its efforts to reduce poverty and reach sustainable development.
In particular, the ODA is for different projects in different areas, including human resources development, economic integration, infrastructure development, and support for environmental sustainability (water supply, sanitation, climate change, agricultural research). The support is additionally for the Coa Lanh Bridge to increase the economic and social situation in the Mekong Delta region by improving transport access for locals.
To generate further cooperation, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet held a reception for Quentin Bryce AC, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and her husband, Michael Bryce. In the first official visit since 1973, President Triet said at the reception that Vietnam hopes that more Australian businesses will invest in Vietnam. On the other side, Mrs. Bryce said that Australia is willing to help Vietnam’s economic, education and diplomatic relation in the future and she conveyed congratulations on the recent achievements.
Both representatives agreed to boost bilateral cooperation especially in economics, trade, investment, defense, security, natural disaster prevention, criminal matters, education, science and technology. Additionally they agreed on incentives for agricultural and aquatic imports and exports because of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.