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Vietnam and New Zealand look to lift ties to strategic partnership
Nhat Minh 23:46, 2020/07/16
2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and New Zealand.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will hold a video conference with New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on July 22 to discuss measures to promote the two countries’ relationship to soon upgrade it to strategic partnership, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced.

 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hosted an official welcome ceremony for Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in March 2018. Photo: Bao Tin Tuc

The two leaders will look into measures to boost ties across many sectors including politics, trade, investment, security and defense, agriculture, people-to-people exchange, and response to Covid-19, Spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meeting on July 16.

The measures are meant to bring the bilateral relations to a new height in accordance with the joint statement when Prime Minister Phuc visited New Zealand in 2018.

The two sides also will discuss international and regional issues of mutual interest.

2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-New Zealand diplomatic relation. In 2009, the two countries lifted ties to comprehensive partnership.

Promoting bilateral trade

 New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews attends the apple and kiwi imported festival from New Zealand held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in June 2020.

In recent years, trade between Vietnam and New Zealands has increased sharply and been quite balanced.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries have been significantly affected, but two-way trade in goods and services continued with stable growth.

As of June, two-way trade reached nearly US$500 million, of which Vietnam’s exports to New Zealand reached US$211.9 million while imports were US$286.9 million.

According to New Zealand’s statistical data, bilateral trade of goods and services in 2019 totaled NZD2.04 billion (US$1.34 billion), up 13% against 2018. Vietnam is the 16th largest trading partner of New Zealand.

Vietnam and New Zealand are relatively complementary economies. The main export products of Vietnam to New Zealand include machinery, electrical equipment, footwear, textiles, furniture. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s major export staples to Vietnam are dairy products, fruit, wood and wood products, and processed food.

As both are members of many free trade agreements such as AANZFTA, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the imminent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), the two countries can take advantage of each other’s strengths to promote economic development, connect supply chains in free trade agreements as well as export to third markets.

In 2021, New Zealand will host and chair APEC and Vietnam is committed to working closely with New Zealand to ensure the success of APEC 2021.

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