HCM City (VNA) – Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has expressed his wishes that New Zealand (NZ) makes it easier for Vietnamese goods, including those from Ho Chi Minh City, to access its market.

During a reception in Ho Chi Minh City on August 28 for Damien O’Connor – the NZ Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Rural Communities as well as State Minister for Trade and Export Growth – Nhan expressed his delight at the development of the Vietnam-NZ comprehensive partnership across a diverse range of areas, especially in economy, trade, culture, and education.

Both sides have exchanged regular visits and high-level meetings. Of note, the recent Australian visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc created a driving force to further deepen bilateral links.

He said ties between Ho Chi Minh City and New Zealand are growing in a number of sectors, such as the NZ government’s assistance in training food safety personnel.

According to Nhan, HCM City is prioritising the development of high-tech agriculture, thus giving a chance to facilitate collaboration and technological transfer between the two sides.

The city leader hoped that NZ will offer assistance in farm produce processing, packaging, and trademark marketing to improve the value of products on the global supply chain.

O’Connor, for his part, said Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, hold great potential to develop high-tech agriculture and exports.

The guest believed that on the back of fine bilateral relations, the signing of free trade agreements and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will open up more markets for Vietnamese and NZ goods.

He hoped that Ho Chi Minh City will create favourable conditions for the two countries’ enterprises to reinforce joint work in education, tourism, and rural agriculture.

NZ is now Vietnam’s 31st biggest trade partner, while Vietnam is the 17th largest trade partner of NZ. Two-way trade surpassed 900 million USD last year, over 425 million USD of which was from Vietnam’s exports, including farm produce, seafood, coffee, cashew nuts, computers, mobile phones, electronics, apparel, footwear, and construction materials.

In Ho Chi Minh City alone, New Zealand has invested in 18 projects worth nearly 60 million USD. Imports-exports between the two sides have reached nearly 359 million USD. –VNA