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Vietnam, New Zealand agree to enhance trade cooperation at multilateral forums

Rosemary Nguyen Rosemary Nguyen

khanhduong.vns@gmail.com

June 04, 2021 | 15:18

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor pledged to enhance cooperation within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as offer mutual support at multilateral forums during their recent phone talks.

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Vietnam, New Zealand agree to enhance trade cooperation at multilateral forums
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien. Photo VNA

The phone talks were held on the sidelines of the 27th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting.

The two leaders noted that as Vietnam and New Zealand are active members of new FTAs such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the two need to step up their strategic partnership, which was founded on July 22, 2020, and the bilateral agriculture cooperation agreement signed on February 24, 2021.

Dien hailed New Zealand’s efforts to host APEC meetings via videoconference this year and believes that practical achievements will be made during APEC Year 2021.

He said APEC member states should strive to issue a joint statement at the MRT 27, which should convey a strong political message about strengthening international solidarity and upholding its leading role in regional economic connectivity, maintaining regional cooperation and links.

The statement should also affirm flexibility and adaptability in the new situation, contributing to joint efforts to cope with Covid-19 and gradually recover economies.

The two ministers also touched on important APEC initiatives this year, especially the Plan of Action to realise the APEC Vision 2040, the trade ministers’ statement on facilitating the circulation of necessities, and several new initiatives regarding green, sustainable, and inclusive growth.

Photo Bangkok Post
New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor. Photo Bangkok Post

O’Connor, for his part, shared his impressions of Vietnam’s economic development over past years and hoped that the country would actively join in discussions at MRT 27 about APEC 2021’s priority initiatives, especially amid the global pandemic./.

Vietnam and New Zealand established their diplomatic ties in 1975. In September 2009, the two nations established a comprehensive partnership, creating a milestone to boost their extensive, substantive and effective relations in many fields.

On July 22, 2020, Vietnam and New Zealand decided to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.

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
The virtual summit between New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to formally elevate the bilateral relationship to Strategic Partnership on July 22, 2020. Photo courtesy of the New Zealand embassy in Vietnam

Data from the Asia-Africa Market Department at the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade show that Vietnam is the 14th largest trade partner and 15th largest importer of New Zealand, ranking fifth in ASEAN.

Vietnam-New Zealand trade has enjoyed average growth of 14.2 percent annually since the establishment of the comprehensive partnership in 2009, reaching US$1.7 billion last year.

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Rosemary Nguyen