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 at Australian Embassy Hanoi, Vietnam

Reception hosted by Australian Ambassador to Vietnam

Ambassador, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It has been my great honour to visit Vietnam this week and gain insights into Australia’s relationship with this fascinating country.

Kaye and I would like to thank the Ambassador for his most generous hosting of this reception, made all the more special to be joined by so many guests with strong ties to Australia and to the great state of Queensland.

In our modern world and global economy, trade and commerce are hugely important in building connections between nations. Last year, Queensland’s merchandise exports to Vietnam were valued at some $1.6 billion, representing Queensland’s ninth largest merchandise export market. Merchandise imports were valued at $682 million.

These remarkable figures are achieved by people such as yourselves and supported by Trade and Investment Queensland, and certainly demonstrate the scale of the commercial relationship between our countries.

This scale is also evident in the many industries represented in our trading relationship: food and agribusiness, mining and energy, education and training, scientific collaborations, tourism, health, arts and culture.

I am filled with a sense of pride knowing that Australian business leaders are here facilitating those transactions and exchanges, learning new and different ways of carrying out business here, and also sharing the Australian way of life. Long have we known the importance of this kind of international cultural collaboration in building strong ties between countries and creating a harmonious interconnected global community.

In so many ways, your work is testament to that. Living, trading, working in this country creating understanding between yourselves but also more broadly between our countries.

Thank you for your presence tonight and for your warm welcome to Vietnam.