New Zealand Embassy Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Phuc visits New Zealand

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, one of Viet Nam’s four Deputy Prime Ministers, led a delegation of 40 on an official visit to New Zealand on 14-17 April 2012. Mr Phuc’s delegation included four ministerial level visitors (including the Minister of Justice, Inspector-General and Prosecutor-General) and seven deputy ministers, making it the most significant Vietnamese high-level visit to New Zealand since 2009.

DPM Phuc visited both Auckland and Wellington during a short but targeted programme.

The visit included meetings with New Zealand Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae (who visited Viet Nam as NZ Chief of Defence Force in 2008); Acting Prime Minister and host of the visit Hon Bill English; the NZ Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Education and Justice; the Attorney-General; and other MPs and senior officials. Key issues for discussion included rapidly-expanding two-way bilateral trade (NZ$700 million in 2011), New Zealand’s legal and anti-corruption systems, and a range of regional /ASEAN issues.

New Zealand - Viet Nam education links were a further, major focus of the visit. DPM Phuc and NZ Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata witnessed the signing of a revised bilateral Education Cooperation Arrangement that will guide the development of education and policy dialogue in areas such as early childhood education, technical and vocational education, and training for English language teachers.

Mr Phuc and delegation also visited Victoria University of Wellington, which currently hosts 300 Vietnamese students including 30 PhD candidates. The Deputy Prime Minister was able to meet students informally over lunch and hear about their positive experiences in New Zealand first-hand.

In both cities he met a range of New Zealand businesses to learn more about their business aspirations for Viet Nam. These included Story Inc, which has designed some exhibitions for New Zealand’s iconic Te Papa and is now involved in the new Hanoi Museum project; Fonterra which is a major exporter of dairy products to Viet Nam; and companies in the aviation and pharmaceuticals sectors.

The visit laid a strong foundation for a continuation of the close and cooperative partnership that has developed between New Zealand and Viet Nam. Both sides are looking forward to further high-level visits of this nature in both directions in future.

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