New Zealand will keep providing development assistance for Vietnam, particularly in agriculture, knowledge and skills, and natural disaster risk management, visiting New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has said.
Prime Minister Key pledged the assistance during his talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The New Zealander also promised to consider supporting Vietnamese businesses in introducing their agricultural and aquatic products in New Zealand and speeding up procedures related to the analysis of risks posed by imported goods.
The two leaders agreed to encourage businesses from both countries to leverage opportunities afforded by the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact and establish a new trade partnership mechanism at the governmental level with the aim of bringing bilateral trade to US$1.7 billion in 2020.
The TPP deal, which aims to liberalize commerce in 40 percent of the world’s economy, was finalized following many sessions of negotiations in Atlanta on October 5, and is now pending approval by lawmakers in all the 12 participating countries, which include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S., and Vietnam.
Trade between the two countries has posted an annual growth rate of 20 percent over the past five years, reaching $800 million in 2014, the highest increase by far, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Vietnam and New Zealand have agreed to develop their comprehensive partnership into a strategic relation during Prime Minister Key’s ongoing visit to the Southeast Asian country, the news agency said.
The visit is scheduled for November 14 to 17.
The two leaders also discussed measures to promote cooperation in defense and security, including exchanging delegations, sharing information and experience in search and rescue operations, and taking part in United Nations peacekeeping activities, among others, the Vietnamese foreign ministry said.
The two prime ministers shared concerns about recent developments in the East Vietnam Sea, saying that they have affected trust as well as peace, stability and security in the region, the Vietnam News Agency said.
They affirmed the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of maritime and aviation in the East Sea as well as settling disputes at sea in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the news agency said.
They emphasized the need for related parties to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea, restrain themselves and refrain from taking any action that may further intensify tension in the region such as the threat or use of force to unilaterally change the status quo, according to the news agency.
As one of the activities within the framework of the visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Key, low-cost Vietnamese carrier VietJet Air and Aviation New Zealand on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding in Hanoi, paving the way for both sides to evaluate and tap into collaboration opportunities, according to a VietJet Air press release dated November 16.
The signing was witnessed by Vietnamese Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and New Zealand Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce.