There is plenty of room to expand and deepen Vietnam and New Zealand’s friendly relationship and elevate it to new heights, said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in a meeting with Andrew Little, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party (NZLP), during his working visit to New Zealand on March 19.

The PM underlined that Vietnam highly values the assistance and support the NZLP has offered to Vietnam since the two countries’ governments established diplomatic relations in 1975.

The two leaders also agreed to bolster their relationship in preparation for establishing a strategic partnership.

Little expressed his delight at meeting with PM Nguyen Tan Dung, saying the visit carries an important significance and is a proper occasion to review the 40 years of relations between the two countries to shape future orientations.

He congratulated Vietnam on its achievements over the past four decades and noted the contributions of the smooth relationship between Vietnam and New Zealand to the Southeast Asian nation’s development.

He said the NZLP and other political parties in New Zealand must improve connections with major countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam.

Pleased with the results from the earlier talks between the two PMs, including the signing of two important agreements, Little confirmed that the Vietnam-New Zealand comprehensive partnership is headed in the right direction.

He said he and the NZLP strongly support the targeted strategic partnership.

The NZPL leader also focused on Vietnamese students in New Zealand and considered connections among the youth to be an important basis for the sustainable future of the Vietnam-New Zealand relationship.

The two countries should also promote interpersonal exchanges and tourism, Little added.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung expressed his hopes that joint efforts between the two countries would unlock various cooperation potentials and deepen the comprehensive partnership.

He also concurred with the idea of increasing connections among the youth and said his country is looking to bring the number of Vietnamese students in New Zealand to 3,000 from 2,000 in the near future.

On the same day, the PM met with Vietnamese nationals and students in New Zealand, confirming that they serve as an important bridge in cementing the Vietnam-New Zealand friendship.

The Vietnamese delegation’s members met a number of New Zealand partners to discuss specific measures.

A number of ministerial-level meetings were also held on the day.-VNA