Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern said there is significant potential to grow NZ - Vietnam relationship further and she will discuss with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc how to harness the potential of the relationship during the Vietnamese PM’s visit to the NZ from March 12-14.
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern
The NZ Prime Minister granted an interview to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to New Zealand.
“The New Zealand-Vietnam relationship is going from strength to strength,” Ardern said, noting that trade is increasing significantly with exports and imports between Vietnam and New Zealand growing by more than a third in the last year alone.
She also highlighted that bilateral links through education and tourism are growing fast, and the introduction of Air NZ’s seasonal direct flights between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City has made it much easier for Vietnamese and New Zealanders to experience and explore the two countries.
“Education is a real success story in the New Zealand-Vietnam relationship with more and more Vietnamese taking up the opportunity of a world class education in New Zealand,” PM Ardern said. She added that New Zealand has also invested in the future leaders of Vietnam by providing 30 post graduate scholarships per annum, English Language Training for Officials, and other targeted short term training opportunities.
According to the PM, there are significant opportunities for further cooperation in education between the two countries. She noted that a number of New Zealand universities have developed strong partnerships with Vietnamese institutions, for example, delivering joint university degrees that provide more flexibility for Vietnamese students to study both in New Zealand and Viet Nam.
“Vietnam has a young population with many keen to move up the education and skills ladder. New Zealand has the education institutions to help cater to that aspiration,” the PM said.
Speaking on the relationship between New Zealand and Vietnam in terms of international mechanisms and forums on economic cooperation that the two countries have joined, such as the APEC and the CPTPP, PM Ardern said both countries work closely in international and regional forums such as the World Trade Organisation and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
She went on to say that Vietnam and New Zealand are also partners in free trade agreements such as the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
According to the PM, these organisations and agreements are important for ensuring the region’s ongoing prosperity, mainly because they embody the shared commitment to a more open and interconnected Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand and Vietnam both recognise the importance of CPTPP for deepening regional economic integration.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will pay an official visits to New Zealand from March 12-14 at the invitation of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Vietnam and New Zealand set up diplomatic relations in 1975. Vietnam is New Zealand’s 16th largest trade partner with the two-way trade hitting about US$1.2 billion in 2017. The two nations aim to raise bilateral trade to US$1.7 billion by 2020.