Vietnam & New Zealand to Deepen Ties and Expand Trade

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Sept. 18 – This week, Vietnam and New Zealand collectively set a new target to reach a total bilateral trade turnover of US$1 billion by 2015 – the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries – after talks held in Hanoi between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh and New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Bill English.

To reach this goal, the two countries will coordinate to more efficiently implement high-level agreements and will focus on carrying out the 2013-2016 Vietnam-New Zealand Plan of Action in addition to the recently implemented double taxation avoidance agreement.

Bilateral trade turnover stood at around US$700 million in 2012.

Furthermore, the two sides agreed to boost the exchange of high-ranking visits and expand cooperation in the following sectors: national defense, security, agriculture, milk and beverage production, processing industry, energy and wood exploitation, mining, law, education-training, tourism, labor and people-to-people exchange.

In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Ninh said that Vietnam will actively work with New Zealand and other relevant countries to soon accomplish negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and to work even more closely together at the United Nations and regional forums – especially the East Asia Summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Minister English also affirmed his country’s thoughts on Vietnam being one of its most important trade partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region during the meeting. On top of that, he also pledged that New Zealand would continue to provide Vietnam with official development assistance, which has steadily increased from US$3.9 million during the 2005-2006 fiscal year to upwards of US$8.7 million in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Minister English also noted his satisfaction with Vietnam’s efficient use of funds and the fast development of New Zealand-funded development projects throughout Vietnam. New Zealand is currently developing 18 projects throughout Vietnam with a total investment amount of over US$76.3 million.

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