|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right) receives Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HANOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and New Zealand have agreed to develop their comprehensive partnership both in scale and in depth towards a strategic partnership.
The consensus was reached during talks between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his visiting New Zealand counterpart John Key in H Noi yesterday.
Priority will be given to strengthening political ties, increasing the exchange of delegations at all levels, optimising the operation of bilateral mechanisms for co-operation in all aspects.
The Vietnamese PM hailed the significance of PM John Key's visit, especially at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1975-2015).
The PMs noted with pleasure the strong development of friendship and co-operation between the two countries over the past four decades.
Viet Nam and New Zealand have maintained regular exchanges of delegations at all levels and implemented a joint programme of action for 2013-2016, they said.
The leaders also stressed the effectiveness of bilateral co-operation mechanisms, as seen in the progress in affiliation in all fields from economy, trade and investment to national defence and security, education-training and science-technology.
Trade is a bright point in bilateral ties with an annual growth rate of 20 per cent over the past five years, hitting US$800 million in 2014, the highest increase in trade between New Zealand with an ASEAN nation.
The two sides agreed to lift up the two-trade volume between the two countries to US$1.7 billion by 2020.
Host and guest agreed that the conclusion of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the taking effect of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and the upcoming formalization of New Zealand's strategic partnership of ASEAN will open up new co-operation opportunities.
The two leaders consented to encourage their businesses to make use of opportunities afforded by the TPP and the AANZFTA and establish a new trade partnership mechanism at the governmental level with the aim of bringing bilateral trade to US$1.7 billion in 2020.
The two sides will also foster collaboration in other areas like agriculture, farm produce processing, animal husbandry, services and education.
New Zealand pledged to continue providing development assistance for Viet Nam, particularly in agriculture, knowledge and skills and natural disaster risk management.
The two sides also discussed measures to boost their partnership in national defence and security, including increasing delegation exchanges, and information and experience sharing in search and rescue operations and UN peace-keeping missions.
They agreed to step up collaboration in health care, aviation, agricultural trade, tourism and culture.
Regarding regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two leaders vehemently condemned the attacks in Paris on November 13.
PM John Key showed his support for Viet Nam's candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure and wished Viet Nam success in hosting the APEC 17 summit.
The two PMs shared concerns about recent developments in the East Sea, saying that they affected trust as well as peace, stability and security in the region.
They reiterated the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of maritime and aviation in the East Sea as well as settling disputes at sea in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The two leaders also agreed on the urgency of the building of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
Following their talks, the two PM's witnessed the signing of co-operation agreements in civil aviation and health care and a plan on strategic cooperation in education.
Earlier in the day, PM John Key laid wreaths at President Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum and the Memorial of Heroic Martyrs in HaNoi. — VNS