New Zealand Embassy Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Da Nang City leader visits Auckland

Mr Nguyen Ba Thanh, Secretary of the Da Nang Municipal Party Committee and Chairman of Da Nang People’s Council, visited Auckland with a mixed official/business delegation on 28-31 March.

The visit allowed Secretary Thanh to see for himself what Auckland, and New Zealand more widely, have to offer Da Nang as a prospective business and education partner.

During the visit the ASEAN-New Zealand Combined Business Council organised a working lunch in cooperation with Export New Zealand and the Vietnamese Embassy in Wellington, to introduce Secretary Thanh and delegation members to local leaders and prospective business partners. Local MP Hon Jonathan Coleman, Minister of State Services and Associate Minister of Finance, represented the New Zealand Government at the lunch.

New Zealand has increasingly close contact with Da Nang City, which has a population similar in size to Auckland’s and enjoys GDP growth well above Viet Nam’s national average. Da Nang’s ambition to become a ‘green city’ by 2020, as well as its rapidly expanding tourism and hospitality industry, provide plenty of opportunity for closer cooperation in future. In 2011 a New Zealand Trade Mission to Da Nang highlighted potential growth sectors such as clean technologies, timber and other construction materials and food and beverage.

Secretary Thanh and delegation also visited Auckland University of Technology (AUT), one of several New Zealand universities with established institutional partnerships with Vietnamese universities. In 2011 five of the New Zealand Government’s 30 ASEAN-New Zealand Scholars Awards post-graduate scholarships for Viet Nam were awarded to Da Nang students, and a number of new NZ-Da Nang education partnerships are under discussion.

Follow-up contact is now planned to ensure that the momentum generated by this ground-breaking visit is continued in future.

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