Vietnam and New Zealand signed two agreements on education and civil aviation cooperation Monday during the visit of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at a press conference following talks with his New Zealand counterpart that her official visit to Vietnam has given fresh impetus to the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Chinh appreciated that the two nations have recognized each other’s market for specific fruits, the signing of cooperation agreements on education and aviation.
The two sides agreed to increase cooperation in the fields of security and defense cooperation, food security, energy, information and transnational crime.
They set a two-way trade turnover target of $2 billion by 2024 and agreed to increase market access for their agricultural products.
Vietnam invited New Zealand investment into high-demand industries like education and training, processing and manufacturing technology, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, construction, and information technology, as well as in post-harvest processing technology.
The two countries agreed to expand cooperation in education and training, labor, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and transportation; as well as in other areas with potential like climate change response, digital transformation, green transformation, entrepreneurship and innovation.
They also agreed on the need to preserve peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea (known internationally as South China Sea), and to settle disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They stressed the importance of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and expediting finalization of the East Sea Code of Conduct (COC).
Chinh said Vietnam has always valued its partnership with New Zealand, a major strategic partner in the South-Pacific for both Vietnam and ASEAN.
Adern said New Zealand was willing to expand the number of Vietnamese residents participating in the working vacation program as one of the measures to boost bilateral ties.
She added that her visit was an opportunity to highlight the close cooperation between both countries in development partnership initiatives and a confirmation that Vietnam was playing an increasingly important role in the international arena.
“I hope to have more opportunities to visit Vietnam to improve connections between our two nations,” she said at the end of her speech.
Ardern is visiting Vietnam from November 14-17. This is Ardern’s second visit to Vietnam. In 2017, she had attended the APEC meeting in Da Nang.
Vietnam and New Zealand upgraded their relations to strategic partnership in 2020. Their bilateral trade turnover reached $1.3 billion in 2021, a 26.7% year-on-year increase.
New Zealand has pledged to provide Vietnam around $16 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA) between July 2021 and June 2024.
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