Ho Chi Minh City will play a significant role in meeting the Vietnam and New Zealand two-way trade target of US$2 billion by 2024, said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
PM Ardern released her comments during a meeting with chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration Phan Van Mai on Wednesday, as part of her four-day visit to Vietnam, which started Monday, at the invitation of her Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh.
PM Arden noted that this is the first time that she and her accompanying business representatives have visited Vietnam's southern economic and trade hub.
New Zealand businesses are interested in learning more about the city’s trade and sustainable socio-economic development policies in order to seek opportunities for multifaceted cooperation, Ardern said.
It is necessary to organize bilateral dialogues on trade promotion, inclusive economic development, and artificial intelligence development to help create the highest economic values for businesses in both countries, the PM suggested.
She also thanked Ho Chi Minh City authorities for taking care of New Zealand citizens living in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the Southeast Asian country in early 2020.
Chairman Mai thanked the New Zealand government for its help to Vietnam during the pandemic period and said the city always considers international communities in the city as part of its residents.
Mai said that the city wants to contribute more to achieving the $2-billion trade goal, as mentioned by Ardern, in the two years to come.
Trade between the two countries currently sits near $1.3 billion, 30 percent of which is contributed by Ho Chi Minh City, though such figures are still not commensurate with the potential of both sides, said chairman Mai.
“We need to re-evaluate the cooperation between businesses in Ho Chi Minh City and New Zealand, and the authorities of the two sides should review their supporting policies to further expand trade ties," chairman Mai stated.
The city wishes to promote cooperation with New Zealand in education, tourism, climate change adaptation, emission reductions in agriculture, high-yield plant varieties, digital transformation, and creative innovation for small- and medium-sized enterprises, Ardern said.
During her stay in Hanoi, PM Ardern had a meeting with her counterpart Pham Minh Chinh on Monday, focusing on strengthening economic and trade cooperation, including the goal of bringing two-way turnover to $2 billion by 2024 and the facilitation of mutual market access for agricultural products.
Also during her visit, PM Ardern held separate meetings with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, during which they discussed steps to further boost the strategic partnership between the two nations.