Vietnam has asked New Zealand to be more open to Vietnamese items in order to make the two-way trade target of US$2 billion by 2024 attainable.
|Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (C) and New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Tredene Dobson (3rd from left) at the meeting on Mar 15. Photo: VGP|
The issue was highlighted at the meeting between Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Tredene Dobson on March 15.
To support the goal, the two sides will work together in the Action Plan 2021-2024 for the effective Strategic Partnership.
Apart from trade, Vietnam expected more scholarship from the New Zealand Aid Program (NZAID) and training from the island country’s English Language Training for Officials (ELTO).
The trade target is believed to be achievable as both countries shared three free-trade agreements namely the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) (signed in 2010), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) (entered into force in December 2018), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) (became valid in January 2022).
Trade between Vietnam and New Zealand has grown rapidly in recent years, mostly after the signing of AANZFTA in 2009. Since then, the two-way trade rose by more than 300% to reach $1.7 billion currently.
As Vietnam is projected to be one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia in the next few years, trade with New Zealand is estimated to increase further, mostly after the two countries elevated the relations to Strategic Partnership in 2020.
Lifting the relationship to the level of ‘Strategic Partnership’ is a very exciting step forward. This means that the two governments will be working much more closely on opportunities for both countries to benefit, and the horizon will also extend beyond just trading with each other, according to Mitchell Pham, Chair Digital Council for Aotearoa, Member Asia Society’s Global Council, Director Augen Software Group.
Two-way trade has increased significantly over the years, with New Zealand exporters enjoying improved market access thanks to the CPTPP and other trade agreements, while the country's sourced food and dairy products finding their way to the homes of Vietnamese consumers, said Warrick Cleine, chairman and CEO of KPMG in Vietnam, Chairman of NZ Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.
He emphasized that as the world recovers from the Covid-19 crisis, both New Zealand and Vietnam are rare bright spots, having managed the health crisis to prevent meaningful community spread of the virus, and limited the impact on their domestic economies.
In addition, Vietnam has long been an important port of call for visiting New Zealand leaders, either on bilateral meetings or when participating in Vietnam-hosted events such as APEC and ASEAN meetings, assisting the trade links, Cleine added.
Goods trade accounts for much of that total, but there has also been strong growth in New Zealand’s education, tourism, and commercial services exports. Over 2,700 Vietnamese studied in New Zealand in 2018. Meanwhile, more than 28,000 New Zealanders visited Vietnam in 2019.