A garment production for export purpose. (Photo: VNA)

Auckland (VNA) – Leading enterprises from Vietnam and New Zealand have gathered for a trade and industry forum in New Zealand to learn firsthand about business and investment opportunities afforded by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The forum was co-oganised on February 3 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Vietnamese Embassy in New Zealand and the ASEAN – New Zealand Business Council (ANZBC) at Stamford Plaza in Auckland to help enterprises take full advantage of the incentives the deal offers.

Present at the event were Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, who is in New Zealand to sign the historic trade deal TPP, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Viet Dung, New Zealand Minister of Trade Todd Michael McClay and ANZBC President Alister Lawrence.

During the forum, Minister Vu Huy Hoang briefed attendees on Vietnam’s economic development and the efforts the country is making to integrate regionally and globally.

Hoang highlighted the opportunities the TPP will bring to the two nations. New Zealand is expected to increase purchases of Vietnam’s garments, footwear, woodwork, agricultural products and seafood, while Vietnam has high demand for milk, textile and garment materials, metal, chemicals and equipment, he said.

Le Hoang Oanh, head of the MoIT’s Asia-Pacific Market Department, also updated local firms on the business climate and investment opportunities in Vietnam, followed by a discussion between officials and companies from both sides.

An agreement and two memorandums of understanding between the MoIT and partners from New Zealand were inked during the event in an attempt to boost bilateral trade relations and facilitate business activities between the two sides.

Bilateral relations have made significant progress since the visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to New Zealand in March, 2015 and of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to Vietnam in July.

Two-way trade rose from 295 million USD in 2009 to 707 million USD last year.

The two countries have together joined the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Air New Zealand plans to open a direct flight from Auckland to Ho Chi Minh City this year.-VNA