NZ and Vietnam to boost trade ties

  • 16/11/2015
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong/File)
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong/File)

By Sarah Robson

Vietnam's youthful population is growing wealthier by the day and New Zealand exporters look set to be able to cash in on it.

Prime Minister John Key is in Hanoi, where he's leading a trade mission aimed at growing the relationship between the two countries.

Mr Key met with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung and the two leaders have agreed to increase trade and other bilateral links.

Among the new initiatives is a plan to maximise education links, as well as agreements to increase cooperation in the health and aviation sectors.

With an economy growing at 6.5 percent a year and a population of 90 million, Vietnam is a potential goldmine for New Zealand exporters.

"You can imagine what Vietnam is going to look like in terms of its purchasing power in a decade or so from now - it's going to become a much wealthier, bigger consumer of the products and services New Zealand produces," Mr Key told reporters after his talks with Mr Dung.

In the five years between 2009 and 2014, two-way trade between New Zealand and Vietnam increased 120 percent, making it New Zealand's fastest growing market in South East Asia.

Earlier this year New Zealand and Vietnam set a goal to double two-way trade to US$1.7 billion a year by 2020.

On Monday Mr Key will visit a number of Vietnamese businesses and meet with some of the top brass of the reigning communist party.

He wraps up his visit to Hanoi tomorrow morning, when he heads to Manila for the annual APEC leaders' meeting.

After that he'll travel to Kuala Lumpur for the East Asia Summit.