Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Viet Nam visit to strengthens ties with NZ

New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters said today.

“Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand,” Mr Peters said.

“Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are looking forward to deepening this existing cooperation and expanding it into new areas such as oceans management and the green and digital economies.”

In his meetings with Viet Nam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (pictured), Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, and Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung, Mr Peters discussed progressing bilateral cooperation as well as international security challenges in the Indo-Pacific, including the situation in the South China Sea.

“Enhanced air links between the two countries are vital to increasing people-to-people connections and trade and boosting the tourism and education sectors. We have discussed commencing initiatives to implement our arrangement on civil aviation cooperation as well as to improve our air services agreement.”

The Minister also met with New Zealand businesses based in Viet Nam and discussed the opportunities that the country presents.

“Viet Nam is a country of more than 100 million people, projected to be one of the fastest-growing global economies in the next 25 years. We are ideally placed to grow our trading relationship. New Zealand is already one of Viet Nam’s largest suppliers of apples and dairy products and we are both working hard to achieve the two-way trade target of US$3 billion in 2026 agreed by our Prime Ministers earlier this year.”

Mr Peters said the visit builds on other recent high-level engagement between Viet Nam and New Zealand, following the visit of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to New Zealand in March 2024.

Viet Nam is the first stop in a four-country trip to South East Asia, and will be followed by visits to Malaysia, Philippines and Timor-Leste. 

“The Coalition Government is seriously stepping up New Zealand’s engagement with South East Asia, a fact reflected in the focus of the travel undertaken by the Prime Minister, myself and other senior Ministers during the first half of 2024,” Mr Peters said. 

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