On November 15, 2015 in Hanoi, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt. Hon. John Key was hosted by his Vietnamese counterpart Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in a meeting marking 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The reciprocal visit, following Prime Minister Dung’s historic trip to New Zealand in March 2015, sees Prime Minister Key and his delegation sign a number of strategic Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements in the region, with education and aviation headlining the program. The delegation comprises the New Zealand Economic Development and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and 14 business leaders across the aviation and education sectors. Relationships between the countries have gone from strength to strength and Vietnam, in fact, has been New Zealand’s fastest-growing trading partner in South East Asia over the past five years, with two-way goods and services trade increasing by 120 per cent.
Further to these signings, Prime Minister Key made his way to an event at KOTO (Know One, Teach One), a social enterprise set up to teach hospitality skills to disadvantaged youth. A cooking contest and a tasting session were hosted at the enterprise’s training school and restaurant. This was followed by informal drinks for the delegation and media with the NZ Prime Minister ending the first day of the tour.
The Right Honourable John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister greeted at KOTO On Van Mieu - a Training Restaurant by Jimmy Pham AM, KOTO Founder, as he arrives to participate in a Vietnamese cooking demonstration
New Zealand Prime Minister is doing traditional Vietnamese spring rolls
The Right Honourable John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister takes photo with KOTO trainees
Reiterating the mutually beneficial developments of these talks, Tony Martin, Trade Commissioner, Vietnam, said, “This year we celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations with the ASEAN region and there are few better ways to celebrate the past than to establish the foundation for a future of collaboration between our respective governments and our businesses. By formalising their intent to work together these companies are making a significant investment in each other to collaborate for the benefit of not only their companies, but the wider industry as well.”
During Prime Minster Dung’s visit to New Zealand in March, the two countries signed a landmark agreement to double trade between them to around $2.2 billion a year by 2020.
This week’s reciprocal visit, together with the 40-year anniversary of New Zealand’s diplomatic relations with ASEAN, is set to deepen this engagement by building awareness, relationships, and opportunities for New Zealand education and business in Vietnam.