New momentum for Vietnam, New Zealand ties

(VOVWORLD) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc began a 4-day official visit to New Zealand on Monday at the invitation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Mr. Phuc’s first official visit to New Zealand as Vietnam’s Prime Minister aims to create new momentum for the Vietnam-New Zealand comprehensive partnership.
New momentum for Vietnam, New Zealand ties  - ảnh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Phuc’s visit is of great importance to both Vietnam and New Zealand as it takes places amidst New Zealand’s efforts to strengthen its ties with Vietnam and ASEAN as a whole.

Aiming for a strategic partnership

Vietnam and New Zealand established diplomatic ties in 1975 and a comprehensive partnership in 2009. Six years later, the two countries released a Joint Statement on strengthening and deepening their Comprehensive Partnership toward a Strategic Partnership. On the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang last November, the two countries signed an Action Program until 2020.

New Zealand considers Vietnam an important factor in its Asia Pacific policy and a economic partner with strong potential. Vietnam is the 19th biggest exporter to New Zealand while New Zealand ranks 31st among Vietnam’s trade partners. The two countries intend to raise bilateral trade from 900 million USD in 2016 to 1.7 billion USD by 2020. New Zealand has 28 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 100 million USD and pledged to 19 million USD in ODA from 2015 to 2018 to help Vietnam reduce poverty, and develop agriculture, health care, and education. More than 3,000 Vietnamese students are studying in New Zealand ranking Vietnam 9th in the number of foreign students there.

Vietnam and New Zealand always support each other at regional and global forums, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. They are coordinating to finalize a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

New Zealand-ASEAN Strategic Partnership enhanced

New Zealand and ASEAN established a strategic partnership in 2015. They promised to strengthen integration in the region and work together to achieve targets set in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the ASEAN-New Zealand Action Plan until 2020. New Zealand pledged to contribute 2 billion New Zealand dollars in the next three years to realize the Strategies on Human and Prosperity considering them the focus of the ASEAN-New Zealand Action Plan. ASEAN is New Zealand’s 5th largest trade partner.

Vietnam consistently supports the ASEAN-New Zealand strategic partnership. As an active ASEAN member, Vietnam acknowledges New Zealand’s support, particularly in security and national defense. The two countries have worked closely to promote the regional security cooperation mechanism led by ASEAN, improve the capacity to cope with security challenges, and strengthen maritime cooperation.