Vietnam, New Zealand enhance trade, education cooperation

New Zealand’s Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Hon Steven Joyce, visited Vietnam on March 18 to explore opportunities for enhancing trade, investment, and education links between the two countries.

New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam announced the trip on March 17 that the Minister will visit the Southeast Asian country in three days from March 18 to 20.

Vietnam is now New Zealand’s 20th largest trading partner, with potential for further significant expansion.  The bilateral trade target of US$1 billion by 2015 is now within reach.

New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam H.E. Haike Manning said; “In education especially we see real opportunities to partner with Vietnam in the development and delivery of high quality education to Vietnamese students.” 

In the current 2013-16 Action Plan to implement the New Zealand-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, both sides have identified education, agriculture/agribusiness, clean technology / environmental management / disaster risk management, aviation and tourism as business areas with significant potential for future growth.

Two way trade in goods between New Zealand and Vietnam in 2013 totalled US$785 million – a 21 percent increase on 2012 levels.   New Zealand currently enjoys a small trade surplus but Vietnamese exports to New Zealand are growing more quickly.

Food and beverage is one of the major drivers of export growth in Vietnam – Vietnamese consumers are looking to New Zealand for safe, premium products they can trust.  In the year to December 2013, for example, fruit exports increased 45 percent.

Vietnam exported US$365 million in goods to New Zealand in 2013.  Main Vietnamese goods exports were mobile phones, garments, footwear and furniture. Growth categories for imports include telephones/cell phones and computers, which increased by more than 100 percent  and 200 percent respectively.

In 2012 more than 2,150 Vietnamese students studied in New Zealand, an increase of more than 90percent since 2008.  Vietnam is now New Zealand’s 9th largest source of international students, and its fastest growing market in ASEAN.

By Ha Le - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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