Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc advocated boosting cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand in fields of mutual interest such as education-training, organic agriculture, smart agriculture, and infrastructure while addressing the Vietnam-New Zealand Business Forum in Auckland on March 13.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) speaks at the Vietnam-New Zealand Business Forum (Photo: VNA)
The event, which was attended by more than 300 businesses and investors from the two countries, was held in the framework of the Vietnamese PM’s official visit to NZ from March 12-14.
PM Phuc told the audience that Vietnam’s business environment has been significantly improved in recent years as seen in assessments made by the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. He also cited the latest survey of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in late February which showed that nearly 70 percent of Japanese firms operating in Vietnam have plans to expand business in the country. Furthermore, more than 62 percent of Japanese businesses claimed that doing business in Vietnam is profitable. According to the Business Climate Index released by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) for the last quarter of 2017, 63 percent of businesses perceived Vietnam’s current business climate as “good” and “very good” while nearly 86 percent of enterprises claimed they want to maintain and expand investment in the Southeast Asian country. In February 2018, Nikkei announced that Vietnam scored 53.5 points in Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the highest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The PM also reported that Vietnam’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2018 was estimated at a record 7.41 percent. He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government will continue improving the usiness environment to attract more domestic and foreign investors and ensure their interests in accordance with Vietnamese regulations. He said when doing business in Vietnam, New Zealand firms can access not only a nearly 100 million strong market but also the 600-million strong ASEAN along with the vast neighbouring Chinese market through Vietnam. The PM hoped the two sides’ businesses will discuss specific cooperation opportunities at the forum, especially when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP) has been signed with Vietnam and New Zealand as members. Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor said New Zealand wants to further deepen trade relations with Vietnam, adding that he hoped the forum will bring benefits for both sides. At the forum, PM Phuc answered many questions raised by New Zealand businesses regarding Vietnam’s policies to better business environment and attract investment in infrastructure development. Afterwards, the PM witnessed the signing of agreements on bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture and education, and between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and New Zealand Business Council.-VNA