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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   7 August 2013  

Vietnam and New Zealand outline joint environmental goals

HA NOI :Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong the day before yesterday said he hoped New Zealand would tighten co-operation with Viet Nam in the combat against climate change, rising sea levels and studies on clean energy.

Trong was speaking at a reception for New Zealand Governor-General Jerry Mateparae.

The Party leader said he appreciated New Zealand's Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam, which contributed to its socio-economic development.

Governor-General Mateparae said that New Zealand attached much importance to strengthening its comprehensive partnership with Viet Nam in all fields.

Viet Nam and New Zealand also agreed on measures to develop their bilateral partnership. The agreement was reached during the talks between President Truong Tan Sang and the visiting New Zealand Governor-General yesterday.

They agreed to maintain the exchanges of delegations at all levels and people-to-people exchanges and work on co-operation deals reached in the past.

At the same time, the two sides should keep bilateral co-operation mechanisms like political consultations, national defence dialogue, and a joint committee on economic and trade co-operation.

They also agreed to strengthen ties between the two legislative bodies via the Viet Nam-New Zealand Parliamentary Friendship Group and by co-hosting practical activities celebrating the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2015.
In national defence and security, the two countries will implement agreements on training activities, exchanges of information, anti-terrorism and peace-keeping activities for the United Nations.

Regarding the field of economy, trade and investment, the two sides signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and agreed to hold talks on food safety and agriculture, forestry and aquaculture products.

They will make efforts to raise their bilateral trade turnover to US$1 billion by the end of 2015.

Mateparae agreed to maintain financial assistance to Viet Nam for education and training, agriculture, risk management in natural disasters and the development of human resources.

The two leaders said they were pleased at the progress of relations in the past four years, especially since the establishment of the Viet Nam–New Zealand comprehensive partnership in 2009.

Two-way trade turnover last year reached $600 million. New Zealand has 20 investment projects in Viet Nam with a total registered capital of $77.8 million.

Governor-General Mateparae said he appreciated the role and prestige of Viet Nam in the region and the world.

The two leaders also affirmed the importance of peace, stability, safety, security and maritime freedom in the East Sea and shared the view that disputes should be settled by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and with the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea toward the early achievement of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

At end of the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the Viet Nam-New Zealand Action Programme for the 2013-16 period, and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.

National Assembly Chairnan Nguyen Sinh Hung also met the New Zealand leader the same day, saying that the two countries' parliaments would boost co-operation in legislation and co-ordination at world inter-parliamentary forums.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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