New Zealand’s Speaker of the House of Representatives Trevor Mallard presented a gift to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at their meeting in Auckland on March 13. (Photo: VNA)

Auckland (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a meeting with New Zealand’s Speaker of the House of Representatives Trevor Mallard on March 13 during which both leaders agreed that the two countries’ legislations should maintain traditional cooperation and close coordination at international and regional parliamentary forums.

PM Phuc and Speaker Mallard expressed their delight at the development of Vietnam – New Zealand relations in recent years, notably the two-way trade which is likely to hit 1.7–2 billion USD in 2020.

They agreed to soon upgrade the bilateral ties to the level of Strategic Partnership and held that the two nations must step up practical and specific measures to boost cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, aviation connectivity and people-to-people exchanges.

The two leaders stressed the need for the two parliaments to increase the exchange of high-level visits and coordinate together in supervising the implementation of the two countries’ agreements.

[Vietnam, New Zealand agree to boost all-round cooperation]

Mallard, who initiated the Vietnam–New Zealand educational agreement, said that New Zealand wants to attract more Vietnamese students to study in areas of its strength like information technology, biotechnology and hospitality.

He expressed his admiration for Vietnam’s important achievements in socio-economic development and implementation of foreign policy in the recent past.

The Speaker said he was pleased with the outcomes of the earlier talks between PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his NZ counterpart Jacinda Ardern, believing that these positive results would lay an important foundation for bilateral relations to develop more strongly in the coming time.

PM Phuc conveyed Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to Mallard to visit Vietnam at a convenient time. Meanwhile, Mallard reiterated his invitation to Ngan to pay a visit to New Zealand soon.

After the meeting, PM Phuc and his entourage attended a banquet hosted by Speaker Mallard.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc is on an official visit to New Zealand from March 12-14. In the morning of March 13, he was welcomed by New Zealand’s traditional Maori greeting and a 19-gun salute during an official ceremony chaired by New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern in Auckland city.

Following the ceremony, PM Phuc and PM Ardern held talks. At the end of the talks, the PMs witnessed the signing of three important documents, including an agreement between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on economic and trade cooperation; a deal between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries on cooperation in food safety and quality management; a strategic cooperation plan between Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and New Zealand educational agency on education and training for 2018-2020.- VNA