New Zealand Embassy Ha Noi, Viet Nam

New Zealand Ambassador highlights cooperation on National Day

New Zealand’s Ambassador to Viet Nam, Her Excellency Ms Heather Riddell, believes 2010 will be a watershed year for New Zealand’s relations with Viet Nam.

Ambassador Riddell made her comments on the eve of her country’s 170th Waitangi Day on 6 February, the national day of New Zealand on which a treaty between 500 Maori chiefs and the British Crown was signed in 1840. The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.

According to the Ambassador, 2010 will see several milestone events for both countries: commemoration of 35 years of bilateral relations; the implementation of a new bilateral Comprehensive Partnership Framework; the entry-into-force of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement; and enhanced New Zealand contact with Viet Nam as the new Chair of ASEAN.

“These events will provide significant potential for expanded cooperation and assistance”.

“Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCully, has just visited Viet Nam and told Vietnamese senior leaders that he hopes 2010 will be the most successful year in the history of the relationship”, the Ambassador said.

“We have seen a 10 per cent increase in two-way trade over the last two years; a 40 per cent increase in the number of Vietnamese students travelling to New Zealand in just one year; and rapid progress in a range of other areas including science and technology, defence and security, parliamentary contact and high-level exchanges.”

“We are looking forward to another busy and successful year”.

In a speech at a formal reception on 4 February to mark Waitangi Day, the Ambassador said she also wished the people of Viet Nam a peaceful Tet holiday with family and a successful and happy new year to follow.


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