Visit primarily aims at bolstering and expanding cooperation in food safety.
New Zealand Minister for Food Safety and Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Ms. Jo Goodhew, will pay a working visit to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and southern Binh Dinh province from July 27 to 30.
The key objective of the visit is to review existing cooperation between New Zealand and Vietnam in the critical area of food safety and discuss opportunities to expand this in the future. The visit is also an opportunity to celebrate bilateral ties during the 40th anniversary of friendship and diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Vietnam in 2015.
Minister Goodhew’s working visit follows the official visit to New Zealand by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in March, during which a Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement was signed by Minister Goodhew and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat. This Arrangement lays the platform for closer cooperation between New Zealand and Vietnam in the food safety area and in respect of trade in food products.
New Zealand and Vietnam have been cooperating in the agriculture and food safety space for many years, across a wide-variety of activities, Minister Goodhew said. “This Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement is an excellent opportunity to take this cooperation to the next level,” she said. “As two agricultural economies, in which food safety is extremely important, I see this as a very meaningful and mutually beneficial area in which to grow our partnership.”
During her visit to Vietnam she will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to discuss Vietnam’s multi-agency approach to food safety and the possible application of new models of cooperation between the two countries on food safety. She will also pay a courtesy call on Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.
Minister Goodhew will then travel to the southern province of Binh Dinh to work with local authorities, experts, and farmers to assess the outcomes of New Zealand’s existing development projects in the province and review the design of new food safety-related development assistance projects being planned.
In Ho Chi Minh City she will meet business contacts from the agriculture and forestry/timber sectors. As Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Minister Goodhew is responsible for forestry, so this will be an opportunity to discuss opportunities for expanding trade in forestry products between New Zealand and Vietnam and overcoming some of the challenges currently faced by importers in this area.