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Joint Declaration of Cooperation - NZ and Viet Nam

Rt. Hon Helen Clark
Joint Declaration of Cooperation between NZ and Viet Nam


The 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between New Zealand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is an occasion to highlight the steady growth in goodwill, co-operation and achievements between the two countries. Both countries acknowledge the increasing importance of the bilateral relationship and are resolved to further develop relations between Viet Nam and New Zealand.

The visit of the Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in October 2003 and the visit of the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to New Zealand in May 2005 have set the stage for a new era of bilateral co-operation.

Over the coming decade, the two partners declare they will seek to strengthen their friendly relations and co-operation and create a stable, long-term and broad-based partnership for the 21st century.

International Affairs
The two countries will enhance their bilateral relations on the basis of respect for the fundamental principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and other international instruments, particularly those of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutually beneficial co-operation.

The two countries acknowledge the vitally important role of the United Nations in maintaining world peace, security and development. Both countries support the strengthening of the United Nation’s role in promoting international security as well as efforts to reform the United Nations with a view to enhancing the efficiency of this international body.

Consultations and co-operation on regional and international affairs will continue through mechanisms such as the regular bilateral Foreign Ministry Consultations, exchanges and frequent high-level contacts, with the aim of further cementing existing political ties, creating new momentum for bilateral co-operation, and supporting each country’s closer integration into regional and international arrangements.

Regional Development
As active members of the Asia-Pacific community, the two countries support wider efforts to bring peace and security to the region, and to foster regional economic development.

Both countries recognise the important role played by ASEAN in ensuring peaceful progress in South East Asia and the value of dialogue on regional issues in the context of their bilateral relations. New Zealand commends the concept of the ASEAN Community comprising three (economic, security and socio-cultural) pillars. Both New Zealand and Viet Nam will cooperate closely in appropriate regional organisations, especially ASEAN, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Viet Nam welcomes and supports the New Zealand Government’s positive attitude towards accession to the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation.

Economic Environment
Effective participation in the world economy calls for the two countries’ involvement in international and regional trade arrangements.

New Zealand strongly supports the accession of Viet Nam to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as soon as possible. The two countries also affirm their decision to advance the negotiation of an ASEAN-Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) is recognised as an increasingly important organisation. Viet Nam and New Zealand look forward to co-operating closely in the lead-up to and at APEC 2006, when it is hosted in Ha Noi.

Trade and Investment
Both countries believe that their economies are complementary, providing a sound basis for a sustainable and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship over the longer term.

The two countries welcome the agreement to establish a Joint Trade and Economic Commission (JTEC) to provide the necessary frameworks to address key issues, promote increased trade and commercial links, and explore and facilitate investment opportunities. The two countries jointly decided that the inaugural meeting of the Commission would be held in New Zealand before the end of 2005.

Development Assistance
For the past 30 years, New Zealand has been a committed aid partner for Viet Nam and will continue to remain so. Viet Nam expressed appreciation for New Zealand’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), recognising that, although small in volume, it offers a valuable contribution to reducing poverty and building capacity of Vietnamese government officials and institutions.

New Zealand reconfirms its commitment to increasing its direct ODA to Viet Nam in the coming years and to assisting the integration into ASEAN of Viet Nam and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. As a first step, a fulltime NZAID Manager is being appointed to Ha Noi in 2005.

Defence and Security
The respective defence and security establishments of the two countries should explore opportunities for new co-operation and liaison to enhance mutual trust and understanding and to build bilateral co-operation.

Both countries condemn terrorism under any form and manifestation and will work to strengthen co-operation in countering terrorism.

Combating Transnational Crime
The two countries will explore avenues for sharing of information and experience on combating transnational crimes, such as arms and drug smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and other organised crimes which threaten the stability of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The two countries will consider possible bilateral arrangements to enhance co-operation in these areas.

Government and People to People Exchanges
While recognising their very different environments and structures, the two countries acknowledge that there are benefits from sharing appropriate parliamentary, legislative and governmental experience. Both countries will continue with and, where possible increase, the frequency of exchanges of visits at all levels, including by Ministers, Parliamentarians, agencies, local authorities, business communities and people-to-people, so as to further deepen mutual understanding and consolidate their partnership.

The two countries also will continue discussion and co-operation on respecting and protecting the rights of people, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and other relevant international instruments that both countries are signatories to.

Both countries recognise the significant potential to increase education links with a view to foster greater understanding of both countries and cultures. The strong education affiliations between institutions in New Zealand and Viet Nam is welcomed and the scope is recognised for further co-operation among institutions in both countries to promote high quality education exchanges including in English Language training.

Science and Technology
The international environment demands that modern economies utilise their research capabilities and technological achievements to advance economically and remain competitive. New Zealand and Viet Nam will encourage greater co-operation between respective institutions in relevant fields of science and technology, such as in agribusiness, phytosantitary measures and information and communications technology (ICT).

Both Viet Nam and New Zealand are famed for their natural attractions and are popular destinations for international tourists. Recognising the role of tourism in economic development and in promoting people to people links, the two countries will work to further promote tourism, drawing on New Zealand’s experience, including through possible training in the hospitality industry.

Both countries recognise the importance of cultural exchanges for increasing understanding between societies and will encourage the exploration of cultural and sporting links.

Co-operation in Other Fields
Both countries recognise the importance of broad-based linkages in the future development of bilateral relations and agree that efforts to strengthen and facilitate co-operation should not be limited to specific areas. They consider that scope existed to facilitate collaboration in fields such as forestry, energy, industry, transportation, postal services and telecommunications, aviation, finance and banking as well as in environmental protection, sports or healthcare.

Both countries firmly believe that the goodwill and achievements of the past 30 years provide an excellent basis for strengthening the extensive and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship between New Zealand and Viet Nam.

The measures outlined in this Declaration reflect the determination of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and New Zealand to achieve this aim. Over the coming decade, the two countries will intensify co-operation to achieve a full, friendly and comprehensive partnership.

The Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand

His Excellency Mr Phan Van Khai, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Wellington 9 May 2005


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