Trades, ties on agenda as PM Chính meets New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern

November 15, 2022 - 08:33
New Zealand always attaches importance to strengthening the relations with Việt Nam, one of its key strategic partners in ASEAN and the region, said Prime Minister Ardern.
New Zealand and Vietnamese prime ministers at the joint press conference following their official talks. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

HÀ NỘI — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her official visit to Việt Nam on Monday, praising the growing strategic partnership and two-way trade between the two countries during talks with her Vietnamese counterpart. 

Welcoming the New Zealand leader, PM Chính congratulated her on the progress made in economic recovery, and thanked the country for helping Việt Nam in its COVID-19 vaccination drive. 

PM Ardern also praised the Southeast Asian country on its achievement in COVID-19 control and recovery, as well as being elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2023-25. 

She said that New Zealand always attaches importance to strengthening relations with Việt Nam, one of its key strategic partners in ASEAN and the region. 

The two leaders praised the effective, practical cooperation despite the global pandemic, with constant high-level exchanges and bilateral cooperation mechanisms conducted flexibly both online and in person. One of the highlights among these activities is the action programme for their strategic partnership in the 2021-24 period.

The two-way trade turnover between Việt Nam and New Zealand reached US$1.3 billion in 2021, equivalent to a 26.7 per cent year-on-year growth. 

In the first nine months of this year, this figure is $1.1 billion, an increase of 13.6 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

The goals are to increase two-way trade turnover to $2 billion by 2024, while also facilitating market access of agricultural products to both countries, and effectively co-implementing trade agreements to diversify supply chains.  

These include the ASEAN - Australia - New Zealand Free Trade Area, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) of which both Việt Nam and New Zealand are members. 

PM Chính said that Việt Nam welcomes New Zealand investments, especially in education and training, technology, manufacturing, agro-forestry-fisheries and construction. 

He proposed New Zealand continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses' investment to the Oceanian country. 

The Vietnamese leader also lauded New Zealand’s non-refundable official development assistance (ODA) of $27 million for Việt Nam for the 2022-24 period, and hoped that this support would continue in the fields of agriculture, climate change response, healthcare, and innovation. 

The two countries will continue developing their cooperation in national defence and security, in response to the increasing traditional and non-traditional challenges in the region.

They also agreed to expand the partnership to cybersecurity, fighting transnational crime, and responding to natural disasters. 

In addition to the existing collaboration in education and training, agro-forestry-fisheries, sports, culture, tourism, transport, Việt Nam and New Zealand expect to cooperate in digital transformation and green growth.

Another area of focus is to enhance cooperation in the Mekong sub-region, which takes into consideration climate change response, smart agriculture and fisheries, water resources management and infrastructure development. 

Việt Nam and New Zealand also highlighted the importance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight at the South China Sea (called East Sea by Việt Nam). 

They called for dispute settlement by peaceful means based on diplomatic and legal processes and international laws, which include the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and soon the Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea. 

PM Chính said: “Việt Nam always treasure the relation with New Zealand, a key strategic partner of Việt Nam in the South Pacific region, and also one key partnership of ASEAN.” — VNS