Photo: New Zealand Consulate
Linking two universities on Dien Bien Phu Street, the bridge is a symbol of the growing relationship between Vietnam and New Zealand.
A New Zealand-Vietnam Friendship Bridge will be built on Dien Bien Phu Street in Ho Chi Minh City, connecting Hutech University and the Hong Bang International University.
Visiting New Zealand Minister of Economic Development, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and Science and Innovation, Mr. Steven Joyce, and Deputy Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, Mr. Le Thanh Liem, announced the building of the bridge on June 6.
The bridge is a joint project between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, a coalition of New Zealand timber companies, and the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. The Friendship Bridge will be made from New Zealand radiata pine, a strong and environmentally sustainable wood frequently used in construction in New Zealand and throughout the world.
“Discussions to construct the Friendship Bridge began in 2015 during the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Vietnam, when a coalition of New Zealand timber companies - Sequal Lumber, Timbalink, PTL Structural Timber Consultants, Vietnam-New Zealand Ltd, and Tran Duc Homes - raised with us the idea of sponsoring an enduring symbol of friendship between the two countries to mark the anniversary,” said Mr. Tony Martin, New Zealand Consul General.
He added that the idea of building a bridge - something that connects two things together - is a great symbol of the strong ties between New Zealand and Vietnam. “Constructed from New Zealand radiata pine, with innovative treatment, design and engineering techniques applied, the bridge is a strong metaphor for our rapidly growing bilateral relationship as well as a great advertisement for the use of timber in construction,” Mr. Martin added.
Mr. Joyce is in Vietnam on a three day visit that coincides with the commencement on June 4 of direct flights by Air New Zealand between Ho Chi Minh City and Auckland.