|Chairman of the National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ (back row, second from left) witnesses the signing of an agriculture deal between Việt Nam and New Zealand. VNA/VNS Photo
WELLINGTON — Chairman of the National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ and the Vietnamese delegation met with businesses at the Việt Nam-New Zealand Economic Cooperation Forum.
The chairman stressed the importance of bilateral ties between Việt Nam and New Zealand since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975. Ever since, Việt Nam has remained one of New Zealand's key partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
"It is reassuring to know that in a constantly changing and unpredictable world Việt Nam and New Zealand can always count on a friend, who shares common values in protecting peace, stability, cooperation and desire to develop," he said.
Huệ added it has been the foundation to bolster economic, commercial and investment cooperation for the prosperity of the two countries.
Việt Nam-New Zealand cooperation has expanded to cover politics, diplomacy, national defence, security, education, science and technology, especially in commerce and investment as bilateral trade has increased fourfold in recent decades.
The two countries have been working together to bring bilateral trade to US$2 billion annually, a target the Chairman said still does not reflect the full cooperation potential between Việt Nam and New Zealand.
Việt Nam has been a rare exception in a post-COVID-19 world with its economy bouching back at a rate of 8.5 per cent positive growth. The country reportedly exported $648 billion worth of goods during the first 11 months of the year, a 14 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and has been projected to reach over $700 billion by year-end.
"Investment between Việt Nam and New Zealand, however, remained modest, leaving a lot to be desired," he said.
This called for greater effort from both sides to connect and promote bilateral investment and trade. The Chairman encouraged New Zealand businesses to participate in Việt Nam's booming economy, which has been largely regarded as one of the world's top destinations for investment in recent decades.
He said the formation and signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as well as the Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN Free Trade Area, have put businesses from both sides in an advantageous position to pursue greater cooperation and open many doors.
"Our strong ties play a key role in removing barriers, stabilising supply chain and creating a larger economic zone, especially when we consider the two economies not as rivals but complementary to each other," said the Chairman.
Earlier in September and November, Việt Nam and New Zealand signed an agreement to open their respective markets to agricultural products from both sides including Vietnamese lemon and grapefruit, as well as New Zealand's pumpkin and strawberry, which has been good news for farmers in Việt Nam and New Zealand.
More New Zealand tourists have been visiting Việt Nam since the re-opening of the country after the establishment of direct flight routes.
"We can see there is still a lot of room for bilateral cooperation. We should focus on removing barriers and creating favourable conditions for businesses on both sides," he said.
Huệ encouraged New Zealand businesses to explore and invest in Việt Nam's startup scene, digitalisation, digital economy and green energy, all of which were Việt Nam's top development priorities in the future.
He said the next phase for Việt Nam is to aim for greater integration into the global supply chain and to bolster export. The country welcomes investors that will bring advanced and environmental-friendly technologies to help realise said objectives.
"Việt Nam stays fully committed to creating a fair and transparent business environment and to providing investors with the best possible environment to thrive," he added.
New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor said Việt Nam is among New Zealand's most important markets in areas of education, technology, culture and sustainable development, and especially agriculture. VNS