Tuesday, 28 February 2023
South Australia Vietnam Business Council Luncheon
I am very pleased to be with you today to mark 50 years of the Australia Vietnam diplomatic relationship.
It’s wonderful to see so many people here today who are committed to deepening South Australia’s trade relationship with Vietnam.
These include Vietnamese migrants who now call our state home, local businesses with longstanding export ties to Vietnam, and people who are just starting out.
Broadly speaking, and as you are no doubt aware, there is a strengthening of the partnership between Australia and Vietnam when it comes to meeting some of the geopolitical challenges in the region, and this presents an opportunity to pursue further cultural and economic ties as well.
In my former role as a diplomat, it was my great pleasure to visit Vietnam several times and play a role in strengthening ties between our two countries, something I am proud to continue as Governor, on behalf of our state. South Australia has a significant role to play in this regard.
Last October I visited Vietnam for the first time as Governor to support our state’s education sector, seek to create business opportunities and to discuss the transition to renewable energy.
I met government ministers, and community and industry leaders, as well as Vietnamese students studying for the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) qualification.
Vietnam is an important source of international students for Adelaide, and after the sector suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was an opportune time to reinvigorate ties and encourage students to come back to our city.
Overall the visit left me with a very positive impression of not only our existing relationship with Vietnam, but how we can enhance it in years to come.
I can see the role played already by the South Australia Vietnam Business Council in this process.
Although it is only two years old, the Council has grown swiftly and strongly.
I thank Francis Wong for his vision and dedication, establishing the Council only two years ago, in the middle of the pandemic.
His capacity to see the value of such an organisation, and then to work extremely hard bringing it to fruition, is commendable.
I thank the Council and its committee for their advocacy work, along with assisting more South Australian companies to understand the Vietnamese market, and supporting Vietnamese migrants to establish businesses and export from here.
In its short history, the Council has attracted two high level delegations from Vietnam to South Australia, has grown ties with major organisations including relevant consulates and embassies, and has established partnerships with Business SA and government.
I congratulate the Council on these achievements.
South Australia is to do business. That is clear.
We are an innovative state with many opportunities, and I thank everyone here today for playing a role in realising them.
Enjoy the luncheon and I look forward to seeing us all work towards the common goal of growing our ties with Vietnam, and in doing so, supporting the prosperity and the stability of our region.