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Prime Minister of Viet Nam visits New Zealand

Prime Minister of Viet Nam visits New Zealand

“The Prime Minister of Viet Nam, Phan Van Khai, arrived in Christchurch (Saturday) for a five-day official visit,” Prime Minister Helen Clark said.

Helen Clark said that Mr Phan Van Khai’s visit is welcome and timely.

"This year Viet Nam and New Zealand celebrate the significant milestone of thirty years of diplomatic relations. We now have a partnership that spans many fields of bilateral and regional co-operation," Helen Clark said.

New Zealand opened an Embassy in Ha Noi in 1995 and Viet Nam opened an Embassy in Wellington in 2003.

"I was struck by the dynamism of Viet Nam when I last visited there in October 2003. Viet Nam will host APEC in 2006. Its economy is one of the fastest growing in Asia, with growth rates averaging more than seven per cent per annum in recent years.

"Trade between our two countries was valued at approximately $249 million for the year to December 2004, and business ties between New Zealand and Viet Nam are expanding.

"New Zealand and Viet Nam are partners in the Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand strongly supports Viet Nam’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation.

"There is also scope to broaden our relationship, especially in the areas of education, tourism, trade, and scientific co-operation. New Zealand has a development partnership with Viet Nam, focused on primary education, rural livelihoods, health, and capacity building for trade and development. Our English language training for Vietnamese officials is greatly appreciated,” Helen Clark said.

Mr Phan Van Khai will be accompanied in New Zealand by several ministers and a business delegation. On Monday he will be formally welcomed at Parliament Buildings, meet with the New Zealand Cabinet, and attend a state luncheon in his honour.

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