Vietnam, New Zealand enhances cooperation

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Picture Credit: Vietnam News Service

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, agreed to maintain their current level of cooperation.

Both indicated that in politics, the two sides concurred to maintain the exchanges of delegations, especially high-level ones while strengthening people-to-people exchanges.

The two sides also agreed to implement the Action Programme for 2017-2020 in a drastic and effective manner.

They will soon organise the sixth meeting of the Joint Committee on economic and trade cooperation in Hanoi and the 11th Political Consultation in New Zealand.

In defence and security, PM Ardern agreed upon the implementation of specific cooperation within the newly-signed Action Programme on defence cooperation in 2018-2021.

Promoting defence industry and research collaboration, strengthening the fight against trans-national criminals, terrorism and drug trafficking are part of the framework.

In terms of economics and trade, both sides expressed their satisfaction with positive bilateral trade growth which hit US$1.24 billion last year.

They agreed on numerous trade promotion activities, including the facilitation of farm produce exports, in order to bring bilateral trade to US$1.7 – 2 billion by 2020.

PM Phuc specifically spoke on the continued New Zealand support in Vietnamese tropical fruits exports and to expand investment in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese leader also said he is satisfied with the efficiency of New Zealand’s ODA projects in Vietnam.

He called for the increased provision of the assistance with the focus on agriculture and rural development, human resources development, disaster risk management and climate change.

New Zealand announced two new ODA projects, namely a three-year programme worth 1.5 million NZD (US$1.09 million) to help Vietnamese farmers increase their income and a pilot project on renewable energy worth 500,000 NZD.

The two sides reached a consensus on intensifying collaboration in such potential as education and labour.

They acknowledged that cooperation in education and training is growing strongly and is one of the pillars of the bilateral relations.

They set a target to raise the number of Vietnamese students to 30 percent by 2020 through encouraging the exchange of students between the two countries’ universities.

The two PMs affirmed to push ahead with cooperation and mutual support at regional and international forums of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

PM Phuc thanked New Zealand for supporting Vietnam to host the APEC 2017 successfully and become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

The New Zealand PM affirmed to support and closely work with Vietnam in 2020 when the Southeast Asian country will take up the role as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the bloc and New Zealand will mark the 45th anniversary of dialogue partnership and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership.

New Zealand will host the APEC Year 2021 and hoped to learn from Vietnam’s experience, she noted.

The two countries agreed to jointly implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and advocated the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The PMs were unanimous to entrust ministries and relevant agencies to promote the two countries’ relations in a deep and pragmatic manner across the fields in addition to promoting the exchange of a roadmap for the bilateral strategic partnership and soon elevating the bilateral relations as agreed by the two sides.