Australian trade minister visits Vietnam

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The Australian Trade Minister visited Hanoi on Monday to tighten trade links between the two countries and promote the broader global free trade agenda.

This is the first visit of Dr. Craig Emerson to Vietnam as trade minister, where he co-chaired the 10th Australia-Vietnam Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee meeting, the Australian Embassy in Hanoi said in a press release.

The last meeting was held in Melbourne in July last year.

During his time in Hanoi, Emerson also addressed members of the Australia-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce on trade and economic reform.

The trade minister has identified Vietnam among Asian countries with dynamic growth, rigorous domestic reform programs, burgeoning middle classes, and developing demand for Australian goods and services.

"Vietnam's economy is fast growing, and its regional and international stature on the rise," said Emerson, who holds a PhD in economics from Australian National University.

Australia's relationship with Vietnam is thriving under the countries' Comprehensive Partnership, signed in 2009.

Two-way trade revenue between the countries has grown at an average of 10 percent per year in the past decade, reaching more than US$6 billion in 2010-2011.

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