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Our relationship with Viet Nam

New Zealand and Viet Nam celebrated their 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015. Our relationship has flourished in recent years, reflected in reciprocal Prime Ministerial visits in 2015. Viet Nam has been one of the world’s fastest growing major economies in recent years, and as a result our trade relationship has grown substantially.

We established a Comprehensive Partnership in 2009 which acts as a commitment to, and lever for, advancing our relationship in a variety of sectors. Today our relationship is characterised by expanding cooperation in areas such as agri-business, disaster management, aviation, tourism, defence and education.


2016 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$1.15 billion


Exports to Viet Nam

$516 million 

Top exports: Dairy products, wood, fruit.

Imports from Viet Nam

$635 million

Top imports: electronic machinery, footwear, furniture.


US$201 billion

GDP per capita US$6,305  
GDP growth  6.2%  

Significant growth in two-way trade, now in excess of $1 billion, is expected to continue. While the goods trade continues to dominate, New Zealand's export of education, tourism and commercial services has become an increasingly important part of our economic relationship. Approximately 1,800 Vietnamese study in New Zealand each year, from short-course training to doctoral research. As many as 30,000 New Zealanders visit Viet Nam each year.

Free trade agreements with Viet Nam

We have a regional free trade agreement that includes Viet Nam:

We're also negotiating two more regional free trade agreements that include Viet Nam:

NZ Inc ASEAN strategy

As a member of ASEAN, Viet Nam is included in the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy. NZ Inc is the Government’s plan to strengthen New Zealand’s economic, political and security relationships with key international partners.

Find out more about the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy

Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Viet Nam.

For more information, read the Viet Nam Government website (external link).


The New Zealand Aid Programme in Viet Nam is guided by our relationship with ASEAN. Our aid programme in ASEAN countries is about using New Zealand’s expertise in agriculture, knowledge and skills, and disaster risk management to support sustainable economic development.

Find out about our aid programme with ASEAN


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Viet Nam
  • June 2016: Minister Steven Joyce visited Viet Nam to celebrate the inaugural Air New Zealand flight between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City and further our connections in the education, aviation and tech sectors.
  • November 2015: Prime Minister John Key visited Viet Nam to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations. Minister Steven Joyce accompanied, alongside a large business delegation.
  • March 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited Ha Noi and met his counterpart HE Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, and Planning and Investment Minister Bui Quang Vinh
  • March 2014: Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce visited Ho Chi Minh City to promote business, trade and education relations - he met with Ho Chi Minh City Chairman Le Hoang Quan, senior Vietnamese business leaders and education stakeholders
  • November 2013: Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman met his counterpart Minister Phung Quang Thanh, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation between our two countries, and paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
  • September 2013: then Deputy Prime Minister Bill English met Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung and business leaders
Viet Nam to New Zealand
  • November 2016: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh visited Wellington and Auckland, meeting with both Prime Minister Bill English and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully.
  • 2015: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited New Zealand with seven Ministers and a large business delegation - he had official talks with Prime Minister John Key and met with the Governor General
  • 2013: Minister of Defence General Phung Quang Thanh met Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully as well as members of the New Zealand business community
  • 2012: Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visited Auckland and Wellington with Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong, Prosecutor-General Nguyen Hoa Binh and Inspector-General Huynh Phong Tranh

News & Events

2017 New Zealand General Election

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The General Election will be held on 23 September 2017. Voters who are overseas can vote from 6 September to 23 September.