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Christopher Luxon And Viet Nam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh On The Occasion Of The Official Visit To New ZealandChinh

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Rt Hon Christopher Luxon welcomed Viet Nam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to New Zealand for his first official visit and constructive bilateral talks on Monday 11 March.

The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the deep and enduring friendship and Strategic Partnership shared by Viet Nam and New Zealand, underpinned by strong people-to-people links and close cooperation in areas of diplomacy, economics, trade and investment, education, labour, science and technology.

“We have built great momentum in our bilateral relationship since the upgrade of our relationship to a Strategic Partnership in 2020. Viet Nam is one of New Zealand’s key relationships in South East Asia, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and our 14th largest trading partner. We discussed opportunities to significantly boost annual two-way trade to a new goal of US$3 billion in 2026 by enhancing our tourism and education flows, as well as removing non-tariff barriers, accelerating trade promotion activities, fully committing to existing FTAs and studying measures to promote greater investment in both directions,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says.

Prime Minister Luxon also announced a new NZ$6.24m investment in Viet Nam’s horticulture sector, the ‘Viet Nam Climate-Smart Fruit Value Chain (VietFruit)’ project, delivered through a partnership with the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research to support climate and economic resilience in Viet Nam’s passionfruit industry, building on the highly successful New Zealand-funded dragon fruit project that preceded it.

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The Prime Ministers welcomed plans to progress cooperation in the education sector through the new Education Engagement Arrangement focusing on institution-to-institution partnerships in the tertiary sector, innovative education models via digital capability tools, and alumni engagement.

“The New Zealand government is committed to boosting international education and diversifying our international education markets. Prime Minister Chinh and I discussed opportunities for more Vietnamese students to study at our world-class universities,” says Prime Minister Luxon.

Prime Minister Chinh’s visit will also see New Zealand and Viet Nam advancing cooperation across a range of fronts – with new Arrangements also signed on economic and trade cooperation, and finance. High-level defence and police dialogues are also being progressed.

Plans were also announced for a bilateral Oceans Dialogue in 2024 on international law, maritime governance, and marine conservation. The Prime Ministers reiterated the two countries’ determination to respect international law, including the United Nations Charter and UNCLOS[1], and their commitment to working together and with other international partners to contribute to regional peace, stability, and prosperity globally and in the Indo-Pacific, including in the South China Sea.

The Prime Ministers looked forward to the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations next year as an excellent opportunity to expand the relationship into new areas of mutual interest such as the green economy, climate change digital transformation and agri-tech cooperation.

“Viet Nam and New Zealand have made excellent progress together on our Action Plan for the period 2021-2024, resulting in significant outcomes in economic and trade initiatives, defence, security, education and labour. Prime Minister Luxon and I have agreed to accelerate the exchange of high-level visits and contacts, and to actively implement cooperation mechanisms as we look forward to elevating our bilateral relations to a higher level in the near future. I am pleased Prime Minister Luxon has accepted my invitation to undertake an official visit to Viet Nam at a mutually convenient time,” says Prime Minister Chinh.

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