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Vietnam, New Zealand aim to lift ties to strategic partnership

Vietnam and New Zealand have pledged to strengthen their comprehensive partnership, looking to build a strategic partnership in the future. 

Vietnam and New Zealand have pledged to strengthen their comprehensive partnership, looking to build a strategic partnership in the future.
Vietnam and New Zealand have pledged to strengthen their comprehensive partnership, looking to build a strategic partnership in the future.

The pledge was made by visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his New Zealand counterpart John Key during their talks in Auckland on Thursday, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

At their meeting, PM Key hailed the Vietnamese leader’s visit as an important event in addition to other activities to mark 40 years of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

Both host and guest expressed their satisfaction at the outcomes of bilateral cooperation in various areas, including politics, trade, investment, defense, security, culture, and education.

The two countries will create the best possible conditions for goods and services to further enter each other’s market, the two premiers said.

New Zealand will consider importing fruit such as rambutan, longan, star apple, and grapefruit from Vietnam, the two sides agreed.

Last year saw two-way trade amount to US$800 million, up 120 percent from 2009, when the two countries established their comprehensive partnership. The figure is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2020.

The Vietnamese leader told his host that Vietnam highly valued the New Zealand government’s official development assistance, adding that it needs closer cooperation with New Zealand in fields of common interest, including agriculture, human resources development, post-war recovery, and disaster risk management.

PM Key suggested a new cooperation model called an inter-governmental trade partnership, and affirmed that New Zealand will continue to provide technical support to improve Vietnam’s human resource capacity.

Besides cultural, artistic, and tourism exchange activities to enhance mutual understanding, especially in celebration of 40 years of diplomatic relations, a direct air route between the nations is expected to be established soon to help promote trade and tourism, the two leaders said.

They were also committed to shortly concluding negotiations on free trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact.

PM Key extended thanks for Vietnam’s support for New Zealand’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in the 2015-2016 term.

He also confirmed New Zealand’s support for Vietnam to host the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2017.

Regarding regional and international issues of common concern, the two premiers laid emphasis on the need to maintain regional peace and stability and called on related parties to resolve maritime disputes without force and in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

PM Dung invited his New Zealand counterpart to visit Vietnam and PM Key accepted and confirmed his visit will be paid within this year.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of an agreement on food safety and animal and plant quarantine, and a protocol revising their air services agreement.

The two sides also issued a joint statement on deepening the comprehensive partnership between them.