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Vietnam and Australia held a high-level consultation in Hanoi on March 22, examining Vietnam’s socio-economic development, its opportunities, challenges and development priorities in 2011-2015 and beyond.

Deputy MVietnam, Australia hold high-level consultationinister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh said over the past 20 years the Australian government has maintained high levels of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam, focusing on infrastructure construction, human resources development, agriculture and rural development, and increasing the capacity and institutionalisation of the economy.

These Australian ODA-funded projects have made a significant contribution to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, said Sinh.

James Batley, Deputy Director General of the Asia-Pacific and Programme Enabling Group of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), spoke highly of the close Australia-Vietnam relations and pledged to assist Vietnam to fulfil United Nations Millennium Development Goals and other national targets.

Australia will continue to help Vietnam meet its development targets through bilateral and multilateral aid, he said.

Australian ambassador to Vietnam Hugh Borrowman noted that Australia-Vietnam relations have developed well and that besides providing ODA, Australia has drawn up other aid programmes for Vietnam.

Delegates discussed Vietnam’s future challenges and priorities to political, socio-economic development, time frames, and obstacles to its ongoing economic restructuring, primarily for public investments and State-owned businesses.

They also reviewed two years of implementing the 2010-2015 Australia-Vietnam Joint Aid Programme Strategy, and Australia’s new aid policy, as well as progress in realising the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Agreement.

(VOV)

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