New Zealand Embassy Ha Noi, Viet Nam

New Zealand Ambassador completes assignment to Viet Nam

Ambassador Riddell receives the Friendship Medal from Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ho Xuan Son (photo courtesy of TG&VN/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

New Zealand’s Ambassador to Viet Nam 2009-2012, Ms Heather Riddell, has returned to New Zealand on the completion of her assignment.

Prior to her departure, Ambassador Riddell paid farewell courtesy calls on the State President of Viet Nam H.E. Mr Truong Tan Sang, and Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr Pham Binh Minh.  Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr Ho Xuan Son also presented the Ambassador with Viet Nam’s Friendship Medal at a ceremony on 26 September.

These meetings provided an opportunity to review the progress to advance the New Zealand – Viet Nam relationship since 2009.  Key achievements included the establishment of a bilateral Comprehensive Partnership and associated Action Plan 2010-2013; new cooperative arrangements in the areas of science and technology, customs, police (transnational crime) and education; a new two-way Working Holiday Scheme; high-level leaders’ visits in both directions; increased two-way trade; a strong increase in Vietnamese students travelling to New Zealand for study; cooperation in ASEAN and other regional fora; and the continuation of New Zealand’s overseas development assistance programme in Viet Nam.

Ms Riddell’s successor will be career diplomat Mr Haike Manning.

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