Representing Vietnam at the event was Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, and his New Zealand counterpart was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Vangelis Vitalis.
Vietnam requested for New Zealand’s aid in the development of value chains and origin tracking systems for agricultural products, as well as food safety management and language training.
The products mentioned comprised coffee, cashewnuts, peppers and fruits amongst others.
Other outcomes of the event included agreements over broader market access for agricultural products, as well as the enhancement of trade and investment co-operations.
The countries will also continue close trade ties under the various regional partnerships they are members of, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Vietnam-New Zealand trade relationship
Vietnam and New Zealand are within the top 20 list of each other’s trading partners. Bilateral trade has grown by almost 260% since the AANZFTA was signed in 2009.
2016 statistics from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade reveal that total trade between the two countries reached NZ$1.15 bn (US$ 749mn) in value. This rose by over 30% to NZ$ 1.7bn (US$ 1.2bn) in 2017, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
“Exports and imports between Viet Nam and New Zealand grew by more than a third in the last year alone,” said New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern.
Roughly 60% of New Zealand’s trade to Southeast Asia heads to Vietnam. Of this, roughly 50% is made up of agricultural products.
Top Kiwi exports to Vietnam include dairy products, fruit and wood, whereas the top Vietnamese exports to New Zealand were electronic machinery, footwear, furniture.
Bilateral trade is hoped to grow further to reach NZ$ 2.6bn to NZ$ 3.1bn (US$ 1.7bn to US$ 2bn) by 2020.
During Ardern’s official visit to Vietnam in March this year, she also announced two new official development assistance (ODA) projects.
The first was a three-year project to help Vietnamese farmers increase incomes, worth NZ$ 1.5 mn (US$ 1.09 mn), and the other was a renewable energy pilot project worth NZ$ 500,000 (US $365,000).