New Zealand PM’s Vietnam visit to foster comprehensive cooperation hinh anh 1Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key will make an official visit to Vietnam from November 14-17 at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung, with a view to promoting comprehensive cooperation between the countries.

Vietnam and New Zealand established diplomatic ties in 1975 and upgraded their relations to a comprehensive partnership in 2009. Since then they have maintained regular high-level visits, meetings and cooperation mechanisms.

The Vietnam-New Zealand Comprehensive Partnership has grown in recent years. During Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to New Zealand in March, the leaders agreed to upgrade relations to the level of strategic partnership.

Two-way trade between the two countries witnessed stable growth, climbing to 750 million USD in 2013 from 300 million USD in 2009. In the first nine months of this year, the figure hit 549 million USD.

New Zealand is Vietnam’s 31st biggest trade partner, while Vietnam is one of New Zealand’s top 20 trade partners.

By the end of August this year, New Zealand had operated 25 investment projects worth over 82 million USD in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam had two joint venture projects in the dairy and service sectors in New Zealand.

The country’s official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam focuses on human resources development, education and training, agricultural and rural development, and sustainable development.

Regarding defence and security, the two sides have maintained delegation exchange and shared information on crimes in accordance with a cooperation agreement signed in 2010 between New Zealand’s police and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security on transnational-crime prevention. They also organise meetings between their joint working groups every two years.

The countries have also maintained their annual bilateral defence dialogue mechanism, and successfully held the first meeting of the Deputy Defence Minister-level Strategic Dialogue Mechanism on November 6.

More than 2,000 Vietnamese students are studying in New Zealand. The country continues to provide scholarships in various majors to Vietnamese students and gives English language-training courses to Vietnam’s high-ranking officials and staff.

Vietnam has shipped fresh mango and dragon fruit to New Zealand. The nations agreed to consider market-accessing requirements, which aim to allow New Zealand to export potatoes to Vietnam and Vietnam to export its Tra and Basa fish, daisies, roses, tuberose, rambutan, grapefruit, star apple and longan to New Zealand.

Both Vietnam and New Zealand are members of important regional and international organisations and forums such as the UN, the World Trade Organisation, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum and ASEAN cooperation mechanisms. They coordinated effectively during negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

During the visit, the two countries’ leaders will focus on measures to boost ties, especially in trade, investment, agriculture and aviation. They will also discuss how to enhance their affiliation and mutual support at international forums.-VNA