Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân holds online talks on Wednesday with Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Travor Mallard. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said she hoped that New Zealand and Việt Nam would step up economic, trade and investment ties following the establishment of their strategic partnership.
She made the statement during online talks on Wednesday with Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Trevor Mallard.
Ngân said the bilateral relationship has developed fruitfully over the years, with two-way trade expanding more than three-fold over the last decade. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade still hit US$500 million in the first half of this year, down only slightly year-on-year, and is expected to bounce back soon.
She thanked Mallard for inviting her to visit New Zealand. The visit, however, has yet to be arranged due to COVID-19, she said, expressing a hope that it will happen soon.
The leaders recalled online talks between the Vietnamese and New Zealand prime ministers a week ago, during which they agreed to advance ties to a strategic partnership.
They agreed that the elevation of the ties opened a new chapter and created a new framework and new momentum for bilateral ties to move forward.
The Vietnamese top legislator thanked New Zealand for its official development assistance (ODA) which has been used effectively in recent years and significantly contributed to Việt Nam’s socio-economic development.
The Vietnamese NA supports the two governments’ collaboration in implementing regional economic co-operation mechanisms, she said, suggesting the two partner with APEC members to organise this year’s APEC Summit in a suitable form and promote co-operation priorities.
Việt Nam backs New Zealand’s online organisation of APEC Year 2021, and the NA will work closely with the country next year, Ngân pledged.
She suggested New Zealand continue to help Việt Nam improve its capacity to enforce the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and enhance economic and trade collaboration.
The leaders also emphasised the progress made in co-operation in national defence and security, agriculture, education, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.
The two countries have collaborated more effectively on regional and international issues, especially with Việt Nam serving as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-21, New Zealand preparing to host APEC 2021, and both countries members of many new-generation free trade agreements, such as the CPTPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), they said.
Ngân affirmed the stance of ASEAN and Việt Nam on settling disputes in the East Sea by peaceful measures in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
Maintaining a peaceful and stable environment and ensuring freedom of navigation and aviation are in the interests of and a responsibility shared by all countries, she said, noting her hope that New Zealand would continue to back the stance.
The Vietnamese legislature will continue to work with its New Zealand counterpart to materialise the joint statement on the strategic partnership, under which the two sides committed to enhancing bilateral exchanges through legislative channels as well as co-operation at multilateral parliamentary forums, Ngân said.
She told the leader of the New Zealand parliament that the NA, as the AIPA Chair, will hold the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) as a teleconference from September 8-10.
Ngân suggested facilitating the exchange between parliamentarian friendship groups in the two countries, intensifying delegation exchanges at different levels, and signing a co-operation deal between the two legislative bodies.
For his part, Mallard promised to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in New Zealand.
New Zealand backs the stance on settling East Sea disputes by peaceful measures and in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, he said.
The leaders agreed to continue holding online talks on co-operation outcomes in priority areas in early 2021. — VNS