Viet Nam News
New Zealand’s Ambassador to Việt Nam, Wendy Matthews, celebrates Waitangi Day and reviews a year of co-operation with Việt Nam.
New Zealand’s National Day on February 6, Waitangi Day, is a time to reflect where New Zealand has come from as a country, and where its future lies. It is a time to reflect on the achievements of 2017 and look forward to greater heights in the relationship between New Zealand and Việt Nam.
In terms of trade, the year has started with a bang. New Zealand was delighted with the recent conclusion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership — the CPTPP — and we look forward to the signing on March 8.
New Zealand and Việt Nam have worked side by side to ensure that our export-driven economies can continue to grow and prosper. This builds on our existing co-operation under the ASEAN, Australia — New Zealand FTA, which has been facilitating trade since 2010.
There has been outstanding growth in a number of areas in the past year, including a 33 per cent increase in two-way trade.
In the field of education, student visa applicants from Việt Nam to New Zealand rose by nearly 60 per cent.
Vietnamese tourists travelling to New Zealand have increased 30 per cent. Education co-operation continues to be a strong foundation of the friendship. Under our development programme, we also provide targeted scholarships to ensure New Zealand is helping develop the future leaders of Việt Nam.
Through the same programme, we are also working with Việt Nam in other areas of New Zealand expertise – agriculture, education and disaster risk management.
Defence links have deepened in the last year with the successful visit of the Royal New Zealand Navy Ship Te Kaha to Việt Nam, provision of English language support for Vietnamese peacekeepers heading to South Sudan, and a bilateral Peacekeeping Cooperation Arrangement.
In 2017, we were proud to support Việt Nam’s successful hosting of APEC. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to Việt Nam two weeks after being sworn into office.
Overall our two countries have never been closer, helped in part by the Air New Zealand’s direct flights between Auckland and HCM City.
We are proud of the developments in the relationship and the strengthening economic, political and defence partnership.
I know that 2018 will bring further positive milestones.
Happy Waitangi Day, and on the eve of Tết, I wish Vietnamese a prosperous and happy Year of the Dog.
Chúc mừng năm mới! — VNS