Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and visiting Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully have agreed to continue working to lift bilateral relations to a higher level during their talks in Hà Nội yesterday.
The officials expressed their joy at flourishing Việt Nam – New Zealand ties in recent years, especially in defence-security, agriculture, development assistance, tourism, education and people-to-people exchanges.
They said the joint statement on strengthening the Việt Nam – New Zealand comprehensive partnership towards a strategic partnership in 2015 laid a foundation for strengthening bilateral ties.
The two sides reaffirmed the importance of the relationship, hoping to continue promoting political trust and deepening the Comprehensive Partnership towards a Strategic Partnership.
The ministers agreed in principle on basic contents of the Việt Nam – New Zealand Action Programme in 2017-2020, and assigned the two sides’ relevant agencies to complete the remaining procedures for the signing of the programme, which defines plans for bilateral relations in the next four years.
They applauded the expansion of defence-security ties, stressing that this shows high mutual trust between the two countries.
They also agreed with a plan to increase the exchange of high-level visits and meetings in 2017.
The two sides will support each other in economic development, aiming to lift two-way trade to US$1.7 billion by 2020.
Minister McCully affirmed his country wants to support Việt Nam in accelerating growth and development, and realising its industrialisation and modernisation goals through official development assistance, trade and investment.
The two countries will prioritise enhancing co-operation in agriculture, education, tourism, scientific research, environmental protection and natural resources management.
New Zealand will make it easy for Việt Nam to export tropical fruits to the Oceania country, while continuing to provide Việt Nam with technical assistance in agriculture.
During their talks, the ministers compared notes on regional and international of common concern, agreeing to enhance collaboration at forums in the Asia Pacific region such ASEAN, East Asia Summit the ASEAN Regional Forum, APEC and the UN.
Minister McCully reaffirmed New Zealand will continue supporting Việt Nam to help the Asian country organise meetings and activities in APEC Year 2017.
The two sides underlined the importance of settling international disputes, including those in the East Sea, by peaceful measures, on the basis of respect for diplomatic and legal processes, in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
They also called for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the finalisation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
New Zealand-funded dam
On April 24 the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a project to ensure the safety of dams in the country, funded by the government of New Zealand.
Việt Nam is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters, especially storms and floods which cause serious damage, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hà Công Tuấn.
Along with a similar project funded by the World Bank, the project is hoped to help Việt Nam improve dam quality and the operation of dams and water reservoirs, thus reducing damage caused by natural disasters, Tuấn said, lauding New Zealand’s development assistance to the country in many projects, especially in agriculture and natural disaster risk management. — VNS