|Both sides are committed to advancing their key agricultural interests and enhancing bilateral trade|
The dialogue was held virtually by Chief Executive of the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, Ray Smith, and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Dr Le Quoc Doanh. They both confirmed that increasing bilateral agricultural cooperation between the two countries is key to realising the goal of achieving a trade turnover of $2 billion by 2024, as stated in the New Zealand-Vietnam Strategic Partnership Action Plan.
Speaking at the dialogue, Smith emphasised that this is an opportunity for both sides to consider how they can work together to build resilience and vitality in their agricultural economies following the pandemic. Both sides committed to enhancing bilateral trade, reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting food safety and rural development.
Speaking at the ceremony, Doanh said, "Agriculture is critical to the economic well-being of our countries. Both nations are strong producers and exporters, with complementary products. The New Zealand-Vietnam Agricultural Dialogue will boost our cooperation and two-way trade, in line with the Strategic Partnership Joint Statement."
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries is already supporting agricultural cooperation with the MARD with activities in plant health, veterinary epidemiology, and electronic certification. These activities complement New Zealand's ongoing development programme, which has a number of agricultural projects including the premium fruit development project in Tien Giang, the rural dam safety project in central Vietnam, and the safe vegetables project in the central province of Binh Dinh.
Smith said that New Zealand has developed one of the most efficient agricultural sectors in the world, with a reputation for cutting edge research and technology, robust and safe agricultural practices, and delicious and high-quality products, "We recognise that increased trade is not just about exporting more products, it’s about an exchange of expertise, technology, services, and investment. This two-way exchange benefits both parties."
He added, "We also look forward to finalising new fruit access deals for each other this year so consumers can enjoy New Zealand strawberries and squash in Vietnam, and Vietnam's limes and pomelos in New Zealand."
New Zealand will keep assisting the MARD's greenhouse gas inventory capability through the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.
Trade between the two nations topped $1.5 billion last year, an increase of 14 per cent. By the end of the year, Vietnam was New Zealand's 15 th -largest trading partner, with the two countries being promising markets for each other due to robust demand for key agricultural products.
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