World / Asia-Pacific

NZ, Vietnam outline goal for strategic partnership

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-20 17:34

WELLINGTON - The leaders of New Zealand and Vietnam outlined plans on Friday to deepen and intensify their comprehensive partnership.

In a joint statement released at the end of a two-day visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Dung and his New Zealand counterpart John Key agreed to set a target of doubling bilateral trade to $1.7 billion by 2020.

The statement said they would deepen and intensify the Comprehensive Partnership, signed in 2009, and review it in 2020 with a view to elevating it to a Strategic Partnership.

This would involve more frequent leader-level visits, aiming for exchanges in each direction once every three years on average.

They would also develop "strategic engagement plans" in two key areas of mutual benefit - agriculture/agribusiness and education - and strengthen air links between the two countries with the goal of direct services by 2017.

The statement said both leaders welcomed the remarkable progress in the bilateral relationship since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975.

Two-way goods trade had grown by 120 percent growth in the five years since the Comprehensive Partnership was signed.

The two sides agreed to continue to consult and work closely together on key international issues such as multilateral trade initiatives, global peace and security, including through cooperation on climate change and other environmental issues.

They also expressed a commitment to further enhance cooperation with peacekeeping training.

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