Leaders of Ho Chi Minh City welcomed Governor General of New Zealand Jerry Mateparae to the city on August 7 and asked the New Zealand leader to back the establishment of twinning relations between HCM City and Auckland city.

In making the proposal, Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of the municipal People Committee said the connectivity will help the two cities boost their research cooperation and exchange.

He also expressed hope that New Zealand will assist HCM City in English training for officials, teachers and students from the city.

Leaders and people in HCM City will do their utmost to implement the plan of action between the two countries for the 2013-2016 period, especially in the fields of coping with climate change, education and training and investment attraction, Quan said.

He affirmed that HCM City will create all possible conditions for businesses from New Zealand to invest to the city.

For his part, the New Zealand Governor General said he is impressed by the strong and dynamic development of HCM City .

He expressed support for the idea of twinning relations between HCM City and Auckland , adding that many young people in New Zealand tend to choose Vietnam to visit, which is a good chance for the two sides to strengthen relations.

The same day, the Government of New Zealand and its Vietnamese partners launched a project on developing new high-quality fruit varieties.

The 4-million-USD project funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme will be carried out within five years with the purpose of creating a model for fruit cultivation and marketing in Vietnam , with dragon fruit being chosen for the model.

It will be carried out by the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (PRF), and Vietnam’s Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI), and Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology.-VNA