Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett (Source: VNA)

Wellington (VNA) – Vietnam and New Zealand on July 27 affirmed their determination to raise two-way trade to 1.7 billion USD by 2020 during Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue’s working visit to New Zealand.

While in Wellington, Hue paid a courtesy visit to Speaker of the House of Representatives David Carter, held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, and worked with Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee and Minister Trade Todd McClay.

The officials agreed to intensify investment in the fields Vietnam has demand and New Zealand has strength such as agriculture, renewable energy and infrastructure.

Paula Bennett and Todd McClay confirmed to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to enter New Zealand, and continue supporting the country in improving production, processing and preservation of farm produce to meet foreign markets’ high standards.

The two sides reached a consensus on the early signing of the 2017-2020 Vietnam-New Zealand Action Programme in 2017 in order to boost cooperation in the priority fields of politics, economy-trade, agriculture, education-training, science, and tourism.

They also pledged to soon organise the sixth meeting of the two countries’ Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation.

The New Zealand leaders asserted to maintain the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam with the focus on social welfare, agriculture and rural development, human resources improvement, and climate change adaptation.

Deputy PM Hue thanked New Zealand for supporting Vietnam in projects related to dyke safety, clean vegetables, and hi-tech agriculture, while suggesting the two sides build a regular bilateral dialogue mechanism on development cooperation in order to carry out measures to use New Zealand’s ODA effectively.

Both sides discussed regional and international issues, agreeing to continue close coordination at multilateral forums, especially ASEAN.

They emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the region, settling disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, strictly following the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and working towards the forming of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Hue and the New Zealand leaders also reaffirmed support for the intensification of economic cooperation and trade liberalisation in the region, and agreed to tighten cooperation to seek a proper path for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The hosts spoke highly of Vietnam’s successful organisation of meetings within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Year 2017, hoping that the two countries will share experience when New Zealand is the host of the APEC Year 2021.-VNA