Vietnam and New Zealand agreed upon a number of issues, including the early signing of accords on science-technology, customs and police during ministerial talks in Hanoi on January 26.

That the New Zealand Prime Minister will visit Vietnam this year was also confirmed at talks held between Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, who visited Vietnam from January 25-26.

The duo also agreed to finalise an action plan on implementing their Comprehensive Partnership--which came into force in September 2009--as soon as possible.

Host and guest expressed satisfaction at the recent fine development of bilateral relations in economics, investment and trade, citing as an example that the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) came into force in early 2010, opening up numerous opportunities for the two countries.

The Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister called for further negotiations on Vietnam’s export of another 100 guest workers to New Zealand after the conclusion of a contract on the first batch of 200 guest workers in 2010. Khiem pledged that Vietnam would use its influence as the President of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to boost relations between New Zealand and the bloc. Additionally, he asked NZ to support Vietnam in its negotiations on membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Pledges were made to strengthen bilateral ties in commerce, investment, official development assistance, education, tourism and science-technology, as well as to make the third meeting of the joint committee on economics and commerce a success. The event is scheduled to take place in NZ on February 25.

Their talks concluded with an agreement that Khiem would visit New Zealand soon.

Vietnam and New Zealand established diplomatic relations 35 years ago./.