New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said in an exclusive interview with Vietnam News Agency that Viet Nam is already New Zealand's fastest-growing export market in Southeast Asia.
During Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to New Zealand in March 2015, the leaders of the two countries agreed to intensify their bilateral comprehensive partnership, with a vision to elevate their ties to a strategic partnership. Could you please provide details on how that vision was realised during your visit to Viet Nam?
New Zealand and Viet Nam share a growing and mutually beneficial relationship, and this visit provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate and grow that.
Viet Nam is already New Zealand's fastest-growing export market in Southeast Asia, with two-way trade now worth over NZ$1 billion (US$652.4 million) a year. During Prime Minister Dung's visit to New Zealand in March, we committed to doubling that by 2020, and both sides are working hard to achieve that.
In March we also agreed to work more closely together in areas such as aviation and education, key areas that both countries have focused on ahead of this visit.
And as a sign of our commitment and belief in the opportunities available, 13 representatives of our education and aviation industry will travel with me to Viet Nam.
New Zealand has a lot to offer Viet Nam and its people, and this visit will be an opportunity to further explore new trade and investment opportunities in areas such as aviation and education sectors, which offer huge potential to both countries.
Two-way trade turnover between Viet Nam and New Zealand has seen a steady increase annually in recent years, reaching close to US$800 million in 2014. The figure is set to hit $1 billion in 2015 and up to $1.7 billion in 2020. With the recent finalisation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in which Viet Nam and New Zealand are negotiating parties, what is your assessment on the effects that TPP may bring to the trade co-operation between the two countries, especially in agriculture, energy and human resources development?
TPP adds to the existing ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA by eliminating more tariffs, ensuring significantly better services market access and by providing new commitments on investment and access to government procurement opportunities in Viet Nam.
The TPP will only boost the economic links between our countries for the benefit of New Zealanders and Vietnamese alike.
You have suggested a new co-operation initiative – ‘inter-governmental trade partnership' – to create opportunities for Viet Nam to access the New Zealand Government's world-class intellectual property. What is the roadmap to put this interesting idea into practice?
As a small but innovative country, New Zealand has decades of experimentation in key areas of public policy, and many of the solutions we have developed have been world-leading.
Much of what we have learned and developed can be applied elsewhere.
Through the Government to Government KnowHow programme, New Zealand shares its specialist knowledge and intellectual property in areas like agriculture, food safety, health, education and fisheries on a commercial basis.
Some of that work is already underway in Viet Nam with representatives of that programme holding a one-day seminar in Ha Noi recently on building sustainable food value chains. This was followed up with a couple of days of business meetings, which I understand have been very productive.
Viet Nam and New Zealand have usually exchanged views, consulted and co-ordinated policies, and supported each other to solve regional and global issues of mutual concern, as well as to promote the effectiveness of the co-operation mechanism at regional and international forums. What is your personal opinion and the New Zealand Government's viewpoint on a solution for territorial claims in the East Sea?
New Zealand does not take a position on the various claims in the East Sea, but we do have a direct interest in how tensions are managed. We oppose actions that erode peace and trust.
As a maritime nation, international law and freedom of navigation are important to New Zealand and we call on all parties in the East Sea to manage disputes in accordance with international law.
We would like to see the full implementation of the ASEAN-China Declaration of Conduct and the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct to help manage tensions. I'm sure this will be one of the issues discussed at the East Asia Summit next week. — VNA