AUCKLAND – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, agreed on major directions to boost future Việt Nam-New Zealand co-operation in all fields during their talks in Auckland, New Zealand, on Tuesday.
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 the 2017-20 period in an effective manner, and soon organise the 6th meeting of the Joint Committee on economic and trade co-operation in Hà Nội and the 11th Political Consultation in New Zealand.
The two sides demonstrated their appreciation at the bilateral friendship and comprehensive partnership between the two countries, towards the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership in 2019, and the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2020.
In defence-security, PM Ardern agreed that the two sides should implement specific co-operation within the newly-signed Action Programme on defence co-operation in the 2018-21 period. The two sides need to promote connectivity in defence industry and research, while strengthening collaboration in fighting trans-national criminals, terrorism and drug trafficking amidst the complicated security environment in the region.
In terms of economics and trade, both sides expressed their satisfaction with positive bilateral trade growth which hit US$1.24 billion last year – a year-on-year rise of over 30 per cent. They agreed on numerous trade promotion activities, including the facilitation of farm produce exports, in order to bring bilateral trade to $1.7-2 billion by 2020.
PM Phúc asked New Zealand to continue facilitating the export of Vietnamese tropical fruits such as mango, dragon fruit, rambutan, star apple, grapefruit and longan to its market, and expand investment in Việt Nam in the fields of its strength and Việt Nam’s demand like mining, energy, infrastructure, hi-tech agriculture, education and finance.
Regarding official development assistance (ODA), the Vietnamese leader said he was satisfied with the efficiency of New Zealand’s ODA projects in Việt Nam. 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.
The New Zealand PM took this occasion to announce two new ODA projects, namely a three-year programme worth NZD1.5 million ($1.09 million) to help Vietnamese farmers increase their income and a pilot project on renewable energy worth NZD500,000.
The two sides reached a consensus on intensifying collaboration in such areas as education and labour.
They acknowledged that co-operation 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 by 30 per cent by 2020 through encouraging the exchange of students between the two countries’ universities.
PM Ardern expressed her delight at positive growth in bilateral tourism co-operation, which is reflected through the fact that New Zealand welcomed 17,000 Vietnamese tourists last year.
She affirmed to maintain assistance for Việt Nam in human resources training, while backing the opening of direct air routes linking the two countries, and committing to facilitating tourism and trade co-operation.
The two PMs affirmed to push ahead with co-operation 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 Phúc thanked New Zealand for supporting Việt Nam to host the APEC 2017 successfully and become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure.
The New Zealand PM affirmed to support and closely work with Việt Nam in 2020 when the Southeast Asian country would 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 would host the APEC Year 2021 and hoped to learn from Việt Nam’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.
At the end of the talks, the PMs witnessed the signing of three important documents, including an agreement between Việt Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on economic and trade co-operation; a deal between Việt Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries on co-operation in food safety and quality management; a strategic cooperation plan between Việt Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training and New Zealand educational agency on education and training for 2018-20.
PM Phúc invited Prime Minister Ardern to visit Việt Nam at an appropriate time, and conveyed President Trần Đại Quang’s invitation to Governor-General of New Zealand to pay a State visit to Việt Nam.
On the occasion, PM Ardern hosted a banquet for her Vietnamese counterpart and members of the Vietnamese delegation. — VNS
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