Our relationship with Viet Nam

Since the establishment of New Zealand’s “Comprehensive Partnership” with Viet Nam in 2009, there have been regular political exchanges, strong growth in bilateral trade, expanded education links, the celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015 and the establishment of direct flights in 2016.

Today our relationship is characterised by expanding cooperation in areas such as agri-business, disaster management, aviation, tourism, defence and education. We have set ambitious goals for our relationship, including doubling two-way trade to US$1.7 billion by 2020 and elevating the status of the relationship to “Strategic Partnership”.


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$6,297  
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. Over 2,100 Vietnamese studied in New Zealand last year, from short-course training to doctoral research. Air New Zealand’s direct flight between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City has increased Vietnamese numbers by over 50%. Over 27,000 New Zealanders visited Viet Nam in 2016.

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

  • November 2017: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Foreign Minister Winston Peters, and Trade Minister David Parker attended APEC in Da Nang, Viet Nam.
  • May 2017: Minister of Trade Todd McClay visited Ha Noi, meeting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.
  • April 2017: Minister Murray McCully visited Viet Nam as his final official visit as Foreign Minister. Minister McCully meet with President Tran Dai Quang, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and allowed him to launch New Zealand’s dam safety project.
  • 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.

Viet Nam to New Zealand

  • July 2017: Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue visited Wellington, meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Finance Steven Joyce, and Minister of Trade Todd McClay.
  • 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