Vietnam and New Zealand have agreed on a range of concrete measures to further develop their bilateral comprehensive partnership in the time ahead.

It was set at the talks between President Truong Tan Sang and visiting Governor General of New Zealand Jerry Mateparae in Hanoi on August 5.

They agreed to maintain the exchanges of all-level delegations and people-to-people exchange, actively realise cooperation deals reached in the past, sign the 2013-2016 Action Programme while keeping bilateral cooperation mechanisms like political consultations, national defence dialogue, and the joint committee on economic and trade cooperation.

They also consented to cementing links between the two legislative bodies via the Vietnam-New Zealand Parliamentary Friendship Group and co-hosting practical activities celebrating the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2015.

In national defence and security, the two countries will actively materialise cooperation agreements on training, information and experience sharing, anti-terrorism and United Nations peacekeeping activities. At the same time, a number of relevant bilateral agreements will also be inked.

On the economic, trade and investment front, the two nations will aim to lift bilateral trade to 1 billion USD by late 2015 by facilitating investment. They will also sign an agreement on double taxation avoidance and conclude negotiations on mutually recognising food quality and safety, agro-forestry-fisheries.

Referring to development assistance, the Governor General committed to the continue the provision of financial assistance for Vietnam’s priority fields that are also New Zealand’s strengths, like education-training, agriculture, disaster risk management and human resources development.

Discussing regional and global issues, the two leaders said they are satisfied with the two countries’ close bilateral cooperation at regional and international forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations, as well as the current Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Regarding the East Sea issue, both host and guest reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, maritime safety, security and freedom in the East Sea.

They shared the view that disputes should be settled by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and with the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea toward the early achievement of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Mateparae invited President Sang and his wife to pay a State-level visit to New Zealand at his convenience. President Sang accepted the invitation with pleasure, saying that the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channels.

After the talks, President Sang and Governor General Mateparae witnessed the signing of the 2013-2016 Vietnam-New Zealand Action Programme and the double taxation avoidance agreement. They also met with the press to inform them about the outcomes of the visit.

Since the two nations lifted their ties to a comprehensive partnership level in 2009, their trade and investment have grown steadily over the years. Last year, two-way trade hit 600 million USD.

New Zealand is investing in 20 projects worth over 77.8 million USD in Vietnam . Its official development assistance to Vietnam averages nearly 10 million NZD each year. Over 2,000 Vietnamese students are pursuing their study in New Zealand universities and colleges.-VNA