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Agriculture – a basis of Vietnam - New Zealand relations: PM Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern viewed agriculture as a basis for relations with Vietnam while addressing an agriculture connection event (AgriConnectioNZ) in Hanoi on November 15.

In her remarks, she said agriculture is not only a crucial sector of the two economies but also part of the countries’ cultural identities, noting that farmers are a key factor of the economy of New Zealand.

Describing New Zealand and Vietnam as destined partners in agriculture, the PM noted with the common commitment on free trade and their reputation in food production and export, both countries are proud to be providers of food for the whole world.

She also pointed out considerable challenges to the two countries’ food systems and global food security, adding the demand for cooperation among food exporting countries is now more urgent than ever.

The strategic partnership between Vietnam and New Zealand, set up in 2020, is a solid foundation for them to confront these challenges and gain benefits together, Ardern went on.

The New Zealand leader noted that both countries own effective food production systems, and this will continue a focal area of their cooperation.

She also highly valued bilateral cooperation in applying high food safety standards, which are important to a sustainable global food system, as well as in improving the resilience and sustainability of farmers, rural communities, and ethnic minority groups.

Concluding her speech, PM Ardern stressed that agricultural connectivity marks a historic milestone in their fruitful and mutually beneficial relations, and that it’s now the time for the countries to launch a partnership in agriculture for the next century.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan also said agricultural cooperation is an important pillar in bilateral cooperation. Vietnam appreciates New Zealand’s attention to agriculture, which focuses on knowledge and technology transfer regarding the development of the farm produce market and high-quality crop varieties, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, dam safety and reservoir operations, food safety, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in animal farming.

In 2021, their agro-forestry-fishery trade approximated 550 million USD, accounting for 41% of total bilateral trade.

He expressed his hope that enterprises of Vietnam and New Zealand will partner in developing high-tech agricultural value chains, and promoting connectivity between the two countries as well as their connectivity with global markets.

Vietnam’s agricultural sector will create optimal conditions for New Zealand businesses to make investment and do business successfully, sustainably, and in the long term, the official affirmed.

At the event, PM Ardern, Minister Hoan, and Minister for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture of New Zealand Damien O'Connor witnessed the signing of a document on the implementation of a plan to export Vietnam’s lime and pomelo to New Zealand, along with a memorandum of understanding on cooperation prioritisation between the TH True Milk company of Vietnam and the Waikato milk company of New Zealand./.