Vietnamese citizens honoured for contributions to NZ-ASEAN ties hinh anh 1Ton Nu Thi Ninh, Honorary Advisor of the Asia-New Zealand Foundation at a workshop (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Four Vietnamese individuals have received the New Zealand – ASEAN Award for their efforts in promoting the Vietnam-New Zealand ties, thereby boosting ties between New Zealand and ASEAN.

The New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam hosted a ceremony in Hanoi on November 16 to honour the individuals, who are Ton Nu Thi Ninh, Honorary Advisor of the Asia-New Zealand Foundation and member of the Advisory Committee of Asia Society's Women Leaders of New Asia; Mai Kieu Lien, General Director of the Vietnam Milk JSC (Vinamilk); Tran Duc Lam, CEO of Tran Duc Homes and Nguyen Xuan Vang, head of the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Education and Training.

Speaking at the event, NZ Prime Minister John Key stated that the Award aims to recognise the awardees’ contributions to developing the New Zealand ties as well as the New Zealand-ASEAN collaboration.

Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee President Nguyen Thien Nhan emphasised the importance of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s official visit to New Zealand in March this year, affirming that it is a crucial step to help the two countries advance strategic partnership in the coming years.

The VFF leader said the formation of ASEAN Community at the year’s end, the fresh conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and New Zealand becoming ASEAN’s strategic member will open new opportunities for both countries to boost cooperation, towards a strategic partnership in the future.

The New Zealand – ASEAN Award has been presented to 40 individuals from ASEAN member nations so far.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is the 7th largest economy in the world with a total GDP of 2.5 trillion USD.-VNA