Canberra (VNA) – The 28th annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF 28) wrapped up in Canberra, Australia, on January 15 afternoon with the adoption of 19 resolutions and a joint communique.
The high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA), led by Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong, took an active part in the event and co-sponsored two resolutions on trade and digital economies.
In his closing speech, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Tony Smith affirmed that after nearly 30 years, the APPF has substantially contributed to the building of friendship, solidarity and cooperation in the region and illustrated its role as a straightforward, constructive and mutually respecting forum with the aim of ensuring peace, stability, prosperity and harmony in the region.
The APPF 28 discussed a number of issues at the three plenary sessions on politics and security, economy – trade, and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. At the meeting of the women parliamentarians, participants looked into the improvement of women and girls’ access to education, innovation and technology, and the promotion of women’s empowerment during the decision-making process at all levels.
On the sidelines of the APPF 28, NA Vice Chairman Phong had bilateral meetings with Chairwoman of the Lao NA Pany Yathotou, President of the Cambodian NA Samdech Heng Samrin, and Deputy President of the Australian Senate Sue Lines.
Meeting with Chairwoman of the Lao NA Pany Yathotou, Vice Chairwoman Phong expressed her delight at the increasingly substantive development of the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties and states.
She noted in the time ahead, the two sides will continue working together to implement cooperation programmes and hold meetings to share information about and experience in the fields of both parliaments’ concern. Phong voiced her belief that with efforts and high determination of the countries’ leaders, ministries and sectors, bilateral cooperation programmes will be fruitful.
Chairwoman Pany Yathotou spoke highly of Vietnam’s assistance to the construction of the Lao NA’s building, noting that she hopes relevant agencies of both sides will coordinate well to accelerate the construction progress and complete the building on schedule with quality ensured.
She also asked the two sides to soon organise experience sharing workshops on tax management, customs, prosecution, land, policies for ethnic minority groups, and full-time parliamentarians.
Talking to President of the Cambodian NA Samdech Heng Samrin, Phong underlined that Vietnam always considers the bilateral relations as a precious asset that needs to be maintained and passed down to future generations. Therefore, they should increase educating people, especially the young, on the traditional relationship, solidarity and all-round cooperation.
She also called for more external activities of the countries’ parliamentary friendship groups and friendship associations, along with people-to-people diplomatic activities.
Expressing his delight at the sound bilateral cooperation in all fields, Heng Samrin thanked Vietnam for supporting Cambodia during the times in the past as well as the national development process at present. He also appreciated its financial assistance for the construction of the building of the Cambodian NA’s Secretariat and committees.
The Cambodian NA leader highly valued the recent signing of the supplementary treaty to the 1985 Treaty on the Delimitation of National Boundaries and the 2005 Supplementary Treaty, and the protocol on land border demarcation between Vietnam and Cambodia. He described the documents as historic achievements, helping to build a border of peace, stability, cooperation and development.
Heng Samrin also noted with satisfaction the bilateral trade of 4 billion USD in 2019, expressing his hope that the figure will reach 5 billion USD soon.
Talking to Deputy President of the Australian Senate Sue Lines, NA Vice Chairwoman Phong applauded the APPF 28’s theme and Australia’s professional organisation of the meeting.
She highlighted the growing relations between the countries and thanked Australia for supporting Vietnam over the past years. Particularly, she spoke highly of the Australian Government and parliament’s favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the nation.
Sue Lines appreciated the Vietnamese community’s contributions to her country and voiced her wish to further promote cooperative ties between the two countries, including between their parliaments./.
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