In a recent interview with the VGP, the Ambassador said, Australia was one of the first developed countries to partner with Viet Nam after the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
Australia welcomed the first Vietnamese students coming to the nation in 1974. Since then, more than 6,500 clever Vietnamese students have come to Australia on scholarships.
According to the diplomat, Australia was one of the first infrastructure investors in Viet Nam, building the first bridge over the Mekong River, laying the first submarine cable and providing the first satellite links so Vietnamese could make international phone calls. The North-South transmission line was also connected by Australian companies.
Australia was also very much at the forefront of working with Viet Nam to develop the infrastructure for the modern period with establishing the first foreign university (RMIT), and an Australian bank, ANZ, installing the first ATM machines in Viet Nam while Allens, an Australian leading international law firm was the first foreign law firm to be licensed in Viet Nam, shared the Ambassador.
"So at that time, we were very important in Viet Nam's development and we were in the top three investors in the country. I am hoping that in the future, Australia again will become as important to Vietnamese development as it has been in the past", he said.
Viet Nam and Australia see each other as natural partners going back many years, stressed the diplomat, expressing his hope that the Australia-Viet Nam relations will be upgraded to the highest level this year.
The focus of the bilateral ties will be across a number of areas, remarkably digitization, green energy transition, education, information technology and telecommunications, he added, expecting that both nations can start cooperating in a range of new areas such as mining.
Security is an important area that both sides will continue to bolster collaboration in the time ahead, the diplomat shared.
According to the Ambassador, last year was a remarkable year of Vietnamese diplomacy and the best year for the nation in terms of foreign policy in many decades.
It felt like the whole world was coming to Viet Nam and the whole world was welcome. It was very successful. During that period, Viet Nam upgraded its relations with a number of countries. This was a deliberate effort by Viet Nam to broaden and diversify its partnerships. In that category, Australia is very important, emphasized Andrew Goledzinowski.
"In Australia we often talk about Viet Nam's leadership. We see Viet Nam as increasingly becoming a global leader on a number of issues", he shared.
The nation is very active now in a number of United Nations forums, and has become a leader in peacekeeping activities where Australia and Viet Nam cooperate on those issues. Viet Nam is becoming more of a leader in ASEAN and in other regional bodies.
"That is very important because we see Viet Nam as a country which has very strong values of peace, stability, prosperous development. All of this is underpinned by Viet Nam's strong belief in a rules-based order, international law and respect for sovereignty. We agree with those values and so we are very happy to see Viet Nam playing a more active role in the region and more broadly in the world", added the diplomat.
The Ambassador said, after one and a half years in Viet Nam, he has a very strong sense of how the Vietnamese people are.
"I have now been in government service for nearly 40 years. I have lived in nine different countries and visited more than 100. But Viet Nam is very special. Everyone who comes here feels it", he told.
There is the beauty of the country, of course, and the beauty of the people. Everyone knows about that. But there is also a deeper beauty. There is a peace inside the Vietnamese people's soul, which everyone notices. There is a real warmth, sincerity, and kindness, the diplomat emphasized.
"I must say, I have experienced that kindness in the time I have been here. It really touches people, even people who visit Viet Nam for a short time. My first visit to Viet Nam was 18, 19 years ago and I always thought I would come back as a diplomat, or as an ambassador. So the fact that dream has come true is very special for me", he said.
Regarding his emotion for a Tet holiday in Viet Nam, Andrew Goledzinowski shared: "I love the atmosphere around Tet. I love the fact that it is a traditional family holiday and it is a time to visit friends. And we were lucky enough to be invited to some people's homes to meet their families and to share the traditional foods of Tet, the sticky rice, and the sweet cakes. It is a very intimate experience, which I value very much".
He expressed his delight at the beauty of the city of Ha Noi during Tet, adding that this is a city of flowers. The peach blossoms everywhere and the apricot flowers and the kumquat trees. People will be dressing in their best clothes. So overall, the atmosphere is amazing.
"I am looking forward to Australia playing its role in partnering with Viet Nam for greater prosperity for both our countries. I wish everyone a happy year of the Dragon to come", Andrew Goledzinowski shared./.