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New Zealand’s profile raised in Viet Nam

New Zealand’s profile raised in Viet Nam

23 June 2005 – New Zealand is flavour of the moment in Viet Nam, with a promotional campaign to raise the profile of our food, wine, technology and education exports attracting extensive media, political and trade interest.

The two-week promotion (6 -19 June) was organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In a joint statement today, New Zealand’s Ambassador to Viet Nam, Michael Chilton and NZTE Trade Commissioner in Viet Nam, Peter Healy, said the promotion was part of an ongoing effort to boost New Zealand exports to this fast-growing market and to strengthen diplomatic, cultural and academic ties.

They said many of New Zealand’s leading exporters and education providers supported the various events staged during the two-week promotion in three of Viet Nam’s largest cities – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang.

“It’s an indication of both the immediate and long term potential they see in Viet Nam; this is a nation of 82 million people with an annual growth rate of over 7% and a commitment to become another ‘Asian tiger’ economy,” said Peter Healy.

Ambassador Chilton said the timing of the ‘New Zealand Inc’ promotion was significant, marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations, and 1975 also marking the founding of modern Viet Nam.

The launch event at the Hanoi Hilton Hotel featured foods and wines from New Zealand and attracted 120 guests, including Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister and other government Ministers. The promotion was enhanced by a cultural experience provided by the Whitireia Performing Arts Group.

Peter Healy said this and other functions to showcase New Zealand products drew strong interest from importers, agents, chefs and the media, with coverage on national TV and newspapers.

“New Zealand food and beverage exports to Viet Nam now exceed $100 million annually and are steadily growing and diversifying,” said Mr Healy. “With the explosive growth of Viet Nam’s tourism sector – it is one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the world – the demand for safe, high quality western food is accelerating.

“There is strong interest in New Zealand foods from the big international chef community that are now being attracted to work in Viet Nam’s top end hotels and resorts. We see this as a lucrative niche for our premium food and beverage products.”

Ambassador Chilton said the three education fairs were also successful. “The joint Education New Zealand/NZTE Fairs have been an important part of building New Zealand’s profile in Viet Nam over the past few years, and we were able to leverage them effectively for this broader programme” he said. “Representatives of 36 New Zealand education institutions exhibited to agents and the public this year, keen to attract an even better share of the increasing numbers of Vietnamese secondary and tertiary students choosing to study abroad. Approximately 1700 students attended the fairs.”

Several high-calibre New Zealand technology companies also participated in the promotional events, including Tait Electronics, Gallagher Group, Fletcher Aluminium, Noske-Kaeser (NZ) Limited and Fisher & Paykel Appliances. Fisher & Paykel Appliances also opened a showroom in Hanoi on Thursday 9 June 2005.

“The success of these events should mark the beginning of some fruitful commercial opportunities for New Zealand exporters and educational institutions,” said Peter Healy and Ambassador Chilton.

They said the relationship between the two nations received another boost earlier this year, when the Vietnamese Prime Minister visited New Zealand with a large delegation, including 54 businesspeople.

New Zealand was also in the news in Viet Nam in April when the former Secretary-General of the World Trade Organisation, New Zealander Mike Moore, visited the country. As well as discussing Viet Nam’s efforts to joint the WTO, his presence also highlighted the increased trade and education links between the two countries.

ENDS

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