Chargé d’ affaires Joseph Mayhew’s of New Zealand sends a message on Waitangi Day (February 6) to Việt Nam News
February 6 marks the 180th anniversary of the signing of TeTiriti o Waitangi - the Treaty of Waitangi - in 1840. This document signifies the enduring partnership between the New Zealand government and the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Waitangi Day is an opportunity for all Kiwis to reflect on the year that has been, and to look ahead to the future. In that spirit, I wanted to do the same with New Zealand’s partnership with Việt Nam.
The virtual summit between New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Việt Nam Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to formally elevate the bilateral relationship to Strategic Partnership on July 22, 2020. — Photos Courtesy of the embassy
While 2020 was a challenging year, it was also an exciting one in terms of our political connections. In July 2020, New Zealand and Việt Nam launched a Strategic Partnership, reflecting the strong connections that have been forged between our politicians, businesses, academia, scientists, students, artists, and diplomats. As Strategic Partners, we now look forward to deepening and broadening our cooperation.
Our trade has remained strong, despite the turbulent last year. Việt Nam is now New Zealand’s 15th largest trading partner, and consumers in both countries continue to enjoy the goods each side has to offer. There are many more opportunities for our business connections to grow across the agriculture, education, aviation, and IT service sectors.
These connections are often strengthened by government will, and I am proud that last year also saw a number of new specific agreements that underpin the Strategic Partnership. These consolidate the strong links between us, including enhancing our educational engagement, strengthening exchanges between our finance ministries, and easing the import certification processes for more of New Zealand’s agriculture products into Việt Nam.
Education is also a key pillar in our relationship. The celebration of our most outstanding alumni, who are our life-long ambassadors for New Zealand in Việt Nam, was a great way to end 2020. The New Zealand Outstanding Alumni Awards in November provided a great opportunity for us to recognise six outstanding Vietnamese alumni who benefited from New Zealand’s world-class education system, as well as recognise their success in their professional careers and their ongoing contributions in their communities.
Former Ambassador Wendy Matthews at the signing ceremony of our E-certification Arrangement in July 2020.
These are just a few highlights of the New Zealand - Việt Nam relationship in 2020 that provided a unique and rewarding way to celebrate 45 years of friendship between our two countries.
2021 will be an even more exciting year as we look to building on our Strategic Partnership across a range of key cooperation areas. While New Zealand has a reputation as being clean and green, and producers of safe and healthy food products, we are also excited to showcase to Việt Nam our world-class innovation and creativity. Our collaboration extends across all levels of Vietnamese society, from the government to the private sector, to the community.
Last but not least, we love to stay in touch with our friends in Việt Nam through our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nzembassyvietnam. Please join our 200,000 existing fans who follow us to learn more about our beautiful country, our important work with our Vietnamese partners, and of course to engage with us!
As Tết approaches, I wish you and your families a prosperous, healthy and happy Year of the Buffalo! VNS
Braille maps of Việt Nam and New Zealand, produced by the Nguyễn Đình Chiểu School for Children with Visual Impairment in HCM City, proudly supported by the New Zealand Embassy in Hà Nội through the Head of Mission Fund in 2019.