Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and  New Zealand Foreign Minister Muray McCully (Source: VNA)
Wellington (VNA) – New Zealand has committed to continuing its official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam, especially in education, human resources, agriculture and rural development, and climate change response.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Muray McCully told Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh during their talks in Auckland city on December 2 that New Zealand will maintain its scholarships to study English for Vietnamese officials while stepping up cooperation between education institutions of the two countries.

New Zealand always considers Vietnam a priority partner in the region, he said, calling on the two countries to foster their cooperation as they still hold substantial potential.

The minister also suggested the two sides soon discuss products prioritized for exports and imports of each nation.

New Zealand will join hands with Vietnam to hasten the assessment of risks to Vietnamese fruits while facilitating the sale of Vietnamese farm produces and seafood in the market, he affirmed.

The two sides agreed to strengthen affiliation in agriculture. Accordingly, New Zealand will help Vietnam with training and technological transfer in order to ensure productivity and quality of Vietnamese agricultural products, as well as food safety.

They also agreed to enhance cooperation in national defence and security, education, people-to-people exchange and labour issues.

Host and guest stressed the significance of the direct air route between Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and Auckland of New Zealand, which, they said, has contributed to strengthening exchanges between the two countries’ citizens and their tourism connectivity.

They noted with joy the development of the bilateral comprehensive partnership, looking towards a strategic partnership.

The two sides spoke highly of the effective implementation of the Action Programme for 2013-2016 and consented to promptly work on the extension of the programme for 2016-2019 in a bid to identity areas prioritized for cooperation in the new period.

The officials emphasised the need to increase the exchange of all-level delegations and between the two countries’ localities, along with carrying forward bilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the political consultation between the two foreign ministries and the joint committee on economic and trade cooperation.

They will strive for bilateral economic and trade ties to reach targeted 1.7 billion USD by 2020 as set by senior leaders, thus making economic cooperation a pillar of the bilateral ties.

The officials used the occasion to exchange view on regional and international issues of shared concern, including the latest developments of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to which both Vietnam and New Zealand are signatories, as well as Vietnam’s hosting the APEC Year in 2017.

They underscored the need to ensure peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region; respect international law as well as diplomatic and legal processes; settle disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; not to take actions escalating tensions; and not to use or threaten to use force.

Deputy PM and FM Minh is on an official visit to New Zealand from December 1-3.-VNA