Australian Governor-General praises Vietnam’s development Bryce noted the accomplishments while receiving outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador Hoang Vinh Thanh at a February 7 ceremony. She highlighted the productive relations between Australia and Vietnam over the past four decades, affirming the remarkable contributions of the overseas Vietnamese community to strengthening bilateral ties. She recalled the warm welcome she received from Vietnamese leaders and people during her visit to the country in May 2011. Governor Bryce praised the ambassador for his tireless dedication to the two countries’ comprehensive cooperation, advancing united efforts in politics, economics, culture, education, tourism, and national security and defence. Thanh recommended increasing the frequency of senior leader visit exchanges to bring the two countries closer. He reported two-way trade turnover exceeded AUD6 billion in 2013, a dramatic improvement from 2009’s AUD3.3 billion. Australia allocated an estimated AUD160 million in official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, funding major projects including Dong Thap province’s Cao Lanh Bridge construction late last year. The diplomat also urged both sides to boost investment cooperation to fully tap their potential. President launches tree-planting festival in Thanh Hoa President Truong Tan Sang on February 7 launched a tree-planting festival at a temple dedicated to Vietnamese heroic mothers and martyrs in the Ham Rong relic site in central Thanh Hoa city. Addressing the event, President Sang said Vietnam is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change, adding the country has suffered from strong storms and floods in recent years, which caused huge human and property losses….