16:40 | 27/07/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - New Zealand Minister for Food Safety and Associate Minister for Primary Industries, the Honourable Jo Goodhew, is paying a working visit to Viet Nam from 27-30 July. During her visit, she will visit the capital Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Dinh.
New Zealand Minister for Food Safety and Associate Minister for Primary Industries, the Honourable Jo Goodhew, is paying a working visit to Viet Nam from 27-30 July. During her visit, she will visit the capital Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Dinh.
The key objective of the visit is to review existing cooperation between New Zealand and Viet Nam in the critical area of food safety and discuss opportunities to expand this in future. The visit is also an opportunity to celebrate bilateral ties during the 40th anniversary of friendship and diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Viet Nam in 2015.
Minister Goodhew’s working visit follows the official visit to New Zealand by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in March 2015, during which a Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement was signed by Minister Goodhew and Viet Nam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, H.E. Cao Duc Phat. This Arrangement lays the platform for closer cooperation between New Zealand and Viet Nam in the food safety area and in respect of trade in food products.
“New Zealand and Viet Nam have been cooperating in the agriculture and food safety space for many years, across a wide-variety of activities. These have taken place in the development assistance area, in regional forums and in the trade area. This Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement I recently signed with Minister Phat is an excellent opportunity to take this cooperation to the next level. As two agricultural economies, in which food safety is extremely important, I see this as a very meaningful and mutually beneficial area in which to grow our partnership.”
“New Zealand has a world-leading food safety and assurance system. We are very keen to share our experiences with Viet Nam on food safety and use this to increase food safety outcomes and grow trade between our two countries and with the rest of the world”, said Minister Goodhew.
During her visit to Viet Nam, Minister Goodhew will meet with Minister H.E. Cao Duc Phat to discuss implementation of the recently concluded Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement. She will also meet with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Vu Duc Dam to discuss Viet Nam’s multi-agency approach to food safety and the possible application of new models of cooperation between New Zealand and Viet Nam on food safety. Minister Goodhew will also pay a courtesy call on Viet Nam’s Minister of Health Mme Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.
Minister Goodhew will then travel to southern province of Binh Dinh to work with local authorities, experts and farmers to assess the outcomes of New Zealand’s existing development projects in Binh Dinh and review the design of new food safety-related development assistance projects being planned.
“I am really looking forward to travelling to Binh Dinh to review New Zealand’s development in that province. Binh Dinh and New Zealand have a special relationship going back over 50 years, back to when New Zealand’s volunteer medics served there in the 1960s. We’re now looking at new and innovative projects in Binh Dinh in the food safety area, building on our sustainable rural livelihoods project, which we hope will form the basis for implementation right across Viet Nam.”, commented Minister Goodhew.
The project of Binh Dinh Sustainable Rural Livelihoods-Linking Poor Farmers to Market started in 2009. To date over US$3 million has been spent for the project with the aims of improving food safety standards, increasing the quantity and quality of the safe agricultural products including safe vegetables, coconut and livestock. The ultimate goal is increased and sustainable farmer income.
In HCMC, Minister Goodhew will meet business contacts from the agriculture and forestry/timber sectors. As Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Minister Goodhew is responsible for forestry, so this will be an opportunity to discuss more about expanding trade in forestry products between New Zealand and Viet Nam and overcoming some of the challenges currently faced by importers in this area.
“Viet Nam has been our fastest growing market in ASEAN over the past five years, and is becoming an increasingly important partner of New Zealand’s. This includes $430 million in New Zealand primary products exported to Vietnam in 2014.”
The relationship between Viet Nam and New Zealand has grown significantly in the last 10 years with close cooperation in areas such as agriculture, education, development assistance and defence. In 2009, New Zealand and Viet Nam signed a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement and during Prime Minister Dung’s visit to New Zealand in March 2015, the two countries agreed to further deepen and intensify the existing Comprehensive Partnership toward the establishment of a Strategic Partnership in the coming time./.