Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his wife and delegation on March 12 visited the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where he also met with representatives of Vietnamese people in New Zealand as part of his official visit to New Zealand from March 11-14.
PM Phuc received a warm welcome at the AUT with the traditional Hongi greeting of local Maori people. After touring the AUT facilities to learn about its activities, he talked to Vietnamese students and representatives of the Vietnamese community.
At the meeting, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Viet Dung briefed him on Vietnamese expats' current affairs, saying most of Vietnamese people in the country have enjoyed a stable life and contributed to local development. Many Vietnamese are also among the students with the best academic records at the AUT.
The AUT has become involved in a number of joint training activities with Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang city of Vietnam. It plans to boost educational cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation with a hope that Vietnamese students in the AUT will serve as an important bridge helping to nurture the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
The Prime Minister praised the Vietnamese Embassy for its great efforts in effectively fulfilling foreign affairs and consular work, broadening cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand, caring for and protecting the interests of Vietnamese living and working in New Zealand.
Regarding the domestic situation, the government leader said socio-economic performance last year and the first quarter of 2018 showed positive signs. In particular, the economic growth in Q1 could rise to 7.41% along with remarkable improvements in production and business activities, higher export turnover, growing number of newly established enterprises, and disbursement of direct and indirect foreign direct investment, which helped create more international confidence in the Vietnamese market.
The PM expressed his belief that all socio-economic targets for 2018 will be achieved beyond expectation and called on ministries, sector, Vietnamese embassies abroad and Vietnamese expats, including those from New Zealand to join hands in contributing to the national development.
PM Phuc hailed the flourishing ties between the two nations, saying New Zealand attaches great importance to, puts confidence in its relations with Vietnam, and maintains fruitful cooperation with Vietnam on both multilateral and bilateral forums. Therefore, both nations are stepping up cooperation in such fields as economics, trade and investment.
"Two-way trade between Vietnam and New Zealand has neared US$1 billion. As many as 6,000 Vietnamese people, primarily students are living here. Both sides have recorded successful partnerships in agriculture, renewable energy and some other areas, however, we should fully exploit cooperation potential on a larger scale.
This is an important task of the Embassy, trade counselors and Vietnamese businesses, especially when Vietnam and New Zealand are members of the freshly-signed CPTPP in Chile,” Phuc noted.
The Embassy was asked to take measures to promote the two countries' political relations, trade and investment. PM Phuc has set a trade turnover target of US$2 billion in the time to come while suggesting stronger cooperation in culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.
He urged the Embassy to augment connections in education and training, expand tourism cooperation and further assist the Vietnamese community.