The virtual dialogue was co-chaired by Ray Smith, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, and Dr Le Quoc Doanh, Vice Minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
A New Zealand embassy press release said the two leaders had confirmed their shared commitment to finalizing new fruit access for each other this year, so consumers can enjoy New Zealand strawberries and squash in Vietnam and Vietnam’s limes and pomelos in New Zealand.
The two sides signed an Agriculture Cooperation Arrangement (ACA) after the dialogue.
The ACA will enable both sides to advance their key agricultural interests in enhancing bilateral trade, reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, promoting food safety, utilizing agriculture research and technology, and fostering rural development, the release said.
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries is already supporting agriculture cooperation with MARD through activities in plant health, veterinary epidemiology and electronic certification.
These activities complement New Zealand’s ongoing development program in the country, which has a number of agriculture projects including one on premium fruit development in the southern province of Tien Giang, another on rural dam safety project in central Vietnam, and yet another on safe vegetables in central Binh Dinh Province.
Smith and Doanh affirmed that the strategic partnership between the two countries has created a solid foundation for increasing bilateral agricultural cooperation and connections.
Vietnam is New Zealand’s 14th largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at over $1.4 billion as of September 2020.
Vietnam has received licenses to export fresh mango, dragon fruit and rambutan to New Zealand so far. It imports apple, kiwi fruit, kiwi berry, blue berry, cherry and persimmons.