Jo Goodhew, Minister for Food Safety in New Zealand, welcomed the introduction of a written agreement issued between Vietnam and New Zealand this month. The primary aim of the agreement is to strengthen the bond of food safety cooperation between both countries.
The Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement established between Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries is intended to promote consistency and recognition between the regulatory systems that exist in both countries.
Developing the relationship between two countries
The new arrangement, which focuses fundamentally on maintaining a high standard of food safety, was introduced at the same time as the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations between New Zealand and Vietnam. According to Ms Goodhew, the progress marks another crucial step forwards in developing healthy trade and nourishing the strong ties that already exist between the two countries.
Today, Vietnam stands as a potentially crucial market for the food exports of New Zealand. Statistics show that more than $400 million worth of primary food products were exported from New Zealand to Vietnam last year and the trade looks as though it’s bound to increase.
Vietnam is also recognised as a core member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, a group with which both Australia and New Zealand maintain a Free Trade Agreement.
The details of the agreement
The cooperation agreement was officially signed in the presence of New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, and the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, who is currently in the process of visiting New Zealand to develop new ideas for strengthening the bilateral ties between both countries.
Ms Goodhew informed officials that the arrangement requires the two countries to share information regarding agricultural trade laws, food safety, the simplification of trade certification, and collaboration in post-graduate education and scientific research.
The Food Safety Agreement was signed by both the Vietnamese Minister of Rural Development and Agriculture, Mr. Cao Duc Phat, and Minister Goodhew, in Auckland, on the 19th of March, 2015.