|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (standing) speaks at the Việt Nam-New Zealand Business Forum. — VNA/VNS Photo|
AUCKLAND — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc called for enhanced co-operation between Việt Nam and New Zealand in fields of mutual interest, such as education training, organic agriculture, smart agriculture and infrastructure.
He said this while addressing the Việt Nam-New Zealand Business Forum in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.
The event, which was attended by more than 300 businesses and investors from the two countries, was held in the framework of the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s official visit to New Zealand from March 12-14.
Phúc told the audience that Việt Nam’s business environment had significantly improved in recent years as seen in assessments made by the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
He also cited the latest survey of the Japan External Trade Organisation in late February which showed that nearly 70 per cent of Japanese firms operating in Việt Nam had plans to expand their business in the country. More than 62 per cent of Japanese businesses claimed that doing business in Việt Nam was profitable.
According to the Business Climate Index released by the European Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam for the last quarter of 2017, 63 per cent of businesses perceived Việt Nam’s current business climate as “good” and “very good”, while nearly 86 per cent of enterprises claimed they wanted to maintain and expand investment in the Southeast Asian country.
In February 2018, Nikkei announced that Việt Nam scored 53.5 points in the Purchasing Managers’ Index, the highest among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Phúc also said that Việt Nam’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2018 was estimated at a record 7.41 per cent.
He affirmed the Vietnamese Government’s commitment to continue improving the business environment in the country to attract more domestic and foreign investors and ensure their interests in accordance with Vietnamese regulations.
He said when doing business in Việt Nam, New Zealand firms could access not only a nearly 100-million-strong market but also the 600-million-strong ASEAN market, along with the vast market of neighbouring China, through Việt Nam.
He hoped the business firms of the two countries would discuss specific co-operation opportunities at the forum, especially when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership had been signed with Việt Nam and New Zealand as members.
Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety and Rural Communities, said New Zealand wanted to further deepen trade relations with Việt Nam and hoped the forum would benefit both the sides.
At the forum, Phúc answered many queries raised by New Zealand businesses regarding Việt Nam’s policies to improve the business climate and attract investment in infrastructure development.
Later, Phúc was present at the signing of agreements on bilateral co-operation in the fields of agriculture and education between the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and New Zealand Business Council.
PM meets New Zealand’s milk firms
On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc met the representatives of some milk companies in New Zealand. He encouraged foreign firms in milk production and processing to expand production, upgrade technology and apply energy-saving solutions in the country.
During his reception for Lukas Paravicini, chief executive of Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd – the leading milk exporter of New Zealand, Phúc said Việt Nam appreciated the co-operation of the firm with its Vietnamese partners. He highlighted the development of Việt Nam’s dairy and nutritional food market, saying the 93-million-strong market was considered one of the most attractive market groups in the world.
He said the Vietnamese Government would promote investment in developing the dairy sector as well as create favourable conditions for enterprises to foster production in the field, contributing to generating more jobs and improving social welfare.
On his part, Paravicini affirmed his firm’s interest in the Vietnamese market and said Fonterra had cooperated with many Vietnamese dairy firms.
He said the group was providing dairy material for Việt Nam’s dairy, beverage and nutritional food companies and was selling high-quality products in the Vietnamese market. Fonterra pledged to further boost co-operation with Vietnamese enterprises, broadening its investment for production and business in Việt Nam, Paravicini said.
Phúc also received Kim Willoughby, director of Deosan Company, and Victor Trương, director of Richmond Company.
More direct flights
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc underscored the significance of strengthening aviation connectivity between Việt Nam and New Zealand, suggesting opening more direct flights to facilitate bilateral trade and tourism, which are growing.
He was speaking to the executives of several major corporations of New Zealand on Tuesday.
Meeting Neil Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the PM lauded the bank’s role in managing inflation, maintaining macro-economic stability and growth momentum in New Zealand over past years.
He suggested the reserve bank share experience with the State Bank of Vietnam in regulating exchange rates, building macro-economic policies and improving the capacity of banking staff.
The Vietnamese leader hailed the signing of a strategic partnership contract between Viet Nam’s Sovico Jsc and New Zealand Trade Centre covering trade, investment, tourism, and aviation connectivity while meeting Adam Martin, President of NZ Trade Centre.
Hosting a reception for Mat Mowbray, the founder and CEO of Zuru Building and Construction Company, the PM said the company’s proposed construction of prefabricated houses using new materials in Viet Nam suits the Vietnamese government’s foreign investment attraction policy. He vowed to direct the Ministry of Planning and Investment to help the company seek proper locations for the project.— VNS