Vietnam - New Zealand Action Plan to Further Promote Strategic Partnership
|Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta (R) at the signing ceremony. Source: VOV|
Vietnam's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta on Dec. 8 signed an Action Plan for the 2021-2024 period, reported VNA.
Those in attendance at the signing ceremony included the New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, the Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand, along with representatives from each countries’ respective foreign ministries.
Speaking at the virtual signing ceremony, Son said he believed that the plan will help further promote the strategic partnership between the two countries in all areas in the near future.
He expressed his delight at the fact that the two sides have maintained cooperation mechanisms in the fields of politics, defence, agriculture, and health in the past year amid the complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Vietnamese minister congratulated New Zealand on its successful hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders' Week, which helped the country improve its role and position in the international arena.
For her part, Mahuta emphasised that New Zealand attaches great importance to its strategic partnership with Vietnam and that it is ready to cooperate with the Southeast Asian nation in promoting economic recovery.
New Zealand wishes to further strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in the areas of trade - investment, education, digital economy and climate change, she said, noting that the two countries are striving to lift their two-way trade to US$2 billion by 2024.
|Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son at the event. Photo: VOV|
Regarding cooperation at regional and international forums, Mahuta thanked Vietnam for its strong support to New Zealand when the nation took over the role as the APEC Chair in 2021, stressing that New Zealand is one of ASEAN's oldest dialogue partners and shares its views with Vietnam on a peaceful, stable, inclusive, and international law-abiding Indo-Pacific region, with ASEAN playing a central role in this.
Son took the occasion to invite Mahuta to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time and the New Zealand minister accepted the invitation with pleasure.
Vietnam and New Zealand established diplomatic relations on June 19, 1975. The Embassy of New Zealand was established in Hanoi in November 1995, and the Embassy of Vietnam followed suit in New Zealand in May 2003.
New Zealand has become an important economic partner of Vietnam, two-way trade has continuously expanded over the past years.
Then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern upgraded Vietnam-New Zealand relations to a strategic partnership in July 2020, marking the 45th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties. By March, Vietnam was New Zealand’s 14th-largest trading partner. Two-way merchandise trade in 2020 topped US$1.93 billion, and now both sides are striving to increase the level of two-way trade to US$2 billion by 2024.
According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, top exports from Vietnam to New Zealand include electronic machinery, footwear and furniture, while New Zealand’s main exports to Vietnam are dairy products, wood and fruit.
Despite Covid-19, New Zealand’s exports to Vietnam have seen good growth in a number of sectors, particularly food and beverage with over 25% growth while Vietnam has grown its machinery exports to New Zealand by more than 28% over the last year.
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