|Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Phan Văn Mãi (right) receives New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in HCM City during her official visit to Việt Nam from November 14 to 17. VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Phan Văn Mãi on November 16 received visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in HCM City during her official visit to Việt Nam from November 14 to 17.
Speaking at the meeting, Mãi expressed his belief that this first visit to Việt Nam by Ardern would make an important contribution to promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Mãi took the occasion to thank New Zealand for its COVID-19 vaccine donations and financial support as well as continued provision of non-refundable aid to Việt Nam, including HCM City.
Mãi said that the two-way trade turnover between the two countries of about US$1.3 billion, of which HCM City contributes about 30 per cent, is not commensurate with the potential of the two countries.
Mãi said he hoped Việt Nam and New Zealand would achieve two-way trade turnover of $2 billion by 2024.
Mãi also noted the city’s goal is to develop a green economy and develop the city into an industrial and high-tech economic centre to improve people’s living standards.
To achieve the goal, Mãi proposed promoting trade promotion activities between businesses of the two countries as well as between HCM City and New Zealand through the New Zealand Embassy in Việt Nam.
The city will also promote cooperation activities with New Zealand in many fields such as tourism and education, green agriculture, climate change, and others.
For her part, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her joy at the strong development of HCM City, adding that New Zealand attaches great importance to consolidating and developing relations with HCM City.
PM Ardern said the target of $2 billion in two-way trade by 2024 would be reachable.
Apart from agriculture, financial technology and services are also important fields to raise two-way trade, according to Ardern.
She said the two countries should further enhance people-to-people exchanges to raise mutual understanding by increasing the number of Vietnamese students studying in the Pacific nation.
The two nations could step up cooperation in health care and the economy, she added.
New Zealand is committed to increasing resources for climate change responses. Together with climate finance, New Zealand wants to work with agricultural countries, including Việt Nam, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.
Earlier, PM Ardern met with Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.
She also took part in a business dialogue between the two countries, and participated in an event on agricultural connectivity.
This is the first official visit to Việt Nam by PM Ardern since she took office in 2017. — VNS