Foreign minister Sơn meets New Zealand counterpart in first annual meeting

September 14, 2022 - 20:07
This is Sơn's first official visit to the nation and the first ministerial visit by a Southeast Asian country to New Zealand since it opened its borders on August 1. 


Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn meets his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta in the annual foreign ministers' meeting in New Zealand on Wednesday. — Photo

 WELLINGTON — Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta co-chaired the first face-to-face meeting of the annual foreign ministers' meeting (FMM) on Wednesday under an action plan to implement the Viêt Nam-New Zealand strategic partnership framework for 2021-2024.

The meeting was held right after an official welcome was held for Minister Sơn, who is on an official visit to New Zealand at the invitation of the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahuta.

This is Sơn's first official visit to the nation and the first ministerial visit by a Southeast Asian country to New Zealand since it opened its borders on August 1. 

New Zealand Minister Mahuta praised the implementation of the two countries' foreign ministers' meeting mechanism, which boosts the Việt Nam-New Zealand strategic partnership in bilateral cooperation fields and regional and international forums.

Minister Sơn said that Việt Nam always attached great importance to enhancing the friendship with New Zealand - a strategic partner of both Việt Nam in the South Pacific region and ASEAN. 

At the meeting, the two sides agreed the Việt Nam-New Zealand relations have seen practical progress in all fields since the two countries upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership in July 2020. 

Despite difficulties caused by COVID-19, the two countries maintained exchanges of delegations, helping to promote political trust and keep the pace of comprehensive cooperation. Two-way trade turnover between the two countries increased 26.7 per cent to reach US$1.3 billion in 2021 compared to 2020. In addition, new Zealand committed to providing $16 million worth of Offical Development Assistance for Việt Nam from July 2021 to June 2024.

Other fields of cooperation such as national security and defence, education and training and agriculture were also promoted.

The two ministers agreed much potential and opportunities for cooperation between the two countries remain. They discussed measures to deepen bilateral relations in all fields, including continuing to enhance political trust, promoting cooperation in economy and trade and tapping opportunities from current economic cooperation mechanisms. They also hope to more effectively implement new-generation trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Discussing the accessibility of products to each country's market, Minister Sơn proposed New Zealand create more conditions for Vietnamese products to be exported to New Zealand. 

Sơn thanked New Zealand for providing the Offical Development Assistance (ODA) to Việt Nam, helping the country to implement sustainable development goals over the past years. He said he hoped that New Zealand would continue offering the ODA to Việt Nam to support the country in sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation, healthcare and innovation. 

New Zealand Minister Mahuta agreed to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to invest and do business in New Zealand.

Regarding cooperation in labour, tourism and people-to-people exchange, the two ministers discussed the increase of quotas for Vietnamese citizens to participate in the New Zealand working holiday programme and resume direct flights between the two countries.

Concerning cooperation in security and national defence, the top New Zealand diplomat agreed to support Việt Nam in training peacekeeping forces, cooperate in fighting against transnational crimes, and share experience in natural disaster prevention and control and search and rescue works.

Regarding new fields of cooperation, the two sides said it is necessary to study and promote fields that match the two countries' potential, demand and goals, such as climate change adaptation, forest preservation and development, sustainable agricultural development, fishing cooperation and fishing cooperation and maritime environmental protection.

The two ministers also discussed regional and international issues of common concerns and agreed to continue coordinating and supporting each other at multilateral organisations and forums, particularly the United Nations and the ASEAN. 

The two sides shared a stance of ensuring peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region based on the rule of law and handling of issues, including the East Sea issue, following international laws.

Foreign minister Mahuta said that New Zealand attaches importance to the strategic partnership with ASEAN and will support sub-regional mechanisms, including in the Mekong region.

Earlier the same day, Minister Sơn met Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe. — VNS