Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his New Zealand counterpart John Key have agreed upon a common vision to deepen the comprehensive partnership toward elevating it to strategic partnership in the coming time.
During their talks in Auckland on March 19, New Zealand PM John Key highlighted Dung's first official visit as an important event that is taking place at a special time marking 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations (1975-2015).
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets with his New Zealand counterpart John Key during his official visit to New Zealand__Photo: VNA
The two PMs shared their satisfaction with positive development of wide-ranging and substantive cooperation in various fields, including politics, trade, investment, security - defense, education and culture. Bilateral trade has grown steadily over the years, reaching nearly USD 800 million in 2014, equivalent to a five-year 120% growth rate since the comprehensive partnership was forged in 2009, and it is expected to reach USD 1.7 billion by 2020. Besides, New Zealand’s projects have proved effective in Vietnam, with Vietnam ranked ninth among countries having students studying in New Zealand.
At the talks, both sides committed to creating favorable conditions for goods and services to enter each other’s market. New Zealand promised to consider the import of Vietnamese fruits, such as rambutan, longan, star apple and grapefruit. It also regards Vietnam as a potential market and will continue investing in areas that New Zealand has strength and Vietnam interests in, such as agriculture, energy, education and training.
The two PMs said their countries will enhance all-level delegation exchanges and diversify forms of contact, expanding to include phone conversations, meetings on the fringe of high-level conferences, and special envoys. Two countries will also make full use of current cooperation mechanisms to successfully implement signed agreements, and achieve the objectives stipulated in the second phase of the 2013-16 Action Program. They also discussed measures to boost cooperation in security-defense, education, people-to-people exchange, and labor.
PM Dung hailed the New Zealand Government’s official direct assistance to Vietnam, and asked New Zealand to continue closer cooperation with Vietnam in agriculture, rural development, human resource development, disaster management and settlement of post-war aftermath in Vietnam. Meanwhile, PM John Key confirmed that his nation would continue providing technical assistance and promoting capacity building for Vietnamese human resources, and proposed a new cooperation model called inter-governmental trade partnership, with a view to enabling Vietnam to have access to New Zealand’s world-class intellectual property.
Two sides also concurred to increase cultural, artistic and tourist exchange activities to enhance mutual understanding, especially as they celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations in 2015. In that spirit, a direct air route between the nations is expected to be soon established.
They also discussed regional and international matters of mutual concern and agreed to continue policy consultation and offer mutual support in dealing with global challenges, promote the efficiency of mechanisms and regional and international cooperation forums such as the United Nations, WTO, EAS/ARF/ADMM +, APEC and ASEM. They reaffirmed commitments to finalize high-quality free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
John Key once again thanked Vietnam for supporting his country’s candidature as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2015-16 term, and pledged to support Vietnam in hosting APEC 2017.
Two PMs also emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region, calling for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in conformity with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Following their talks, both sides issued a joint statement on strengthening the Vietnam-New Zealand comprehensive partnership.-