Cooperating with South Pacific countries, including New Zealand, is of key importance to Vietnam, said Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh while receiving his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully in Hanoi on November 7.

In reply, McCully said New Zealand considers Vietnam as one of its most promising partners in the Asia–Pacific region. He pledged to maintain the provision of official development assistance for the country.

The two sides agreed to hold a Joint Trade and Economic Commission meeting and adopt a double taxation avoidance agreement to bump bilateral trade over the 1 billion USD mark by 2015.

They consented to maintain the exchange of high-ranking delegations and boost cooperation in security, national defence, agriculture, processing industry, energy, timber and mineral exploration, milk production and processing, beverages, law, education – training, tourism, labour and people-to-people exchange to match the bilateral relations.

Both host and guest pledged to work closely to implement the Vietnam–New Zealand Action Plan for the 2010 – 2013 period, in time for the 40 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties in 2015.

Discussing issues of mutual concern, the two FMs agreed to support each other at the United Nations, East Asia Summit and the Asia–Europe Meeting, and during the TPP negotiation.-VNA