PM Pham Minh Chinh’s Visit to New Zealand: A Fresh Start, A New Boost

During Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to New Zealand on March 10-11, Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand Nguyen Van Trung discussed the significance of the visit and the potential for collaboration between the two countries.

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The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Chinh, along with his wife, is embarking on a trip to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit and to visit Australia and New Zealand.

What are the purposes and key points of the Prime Minister’s official visit to New Zealand this time?

The official visit of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the high-ranking Vietnamese government delegation to New Zealand holds significant meanings.

This visit marks Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s first official visit to New Zealand since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2020.

The visit is considered an important milestone in strengthening the cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries, especially in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2025.

Furthermore, this visit aligns with the foreign policy guidelines set forth by the 13th Party Congress, emphasizing the importance of enhancing cooperative relationships with the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand as a key strategic partner.

During the visit, several bilateral cooperation agreements are expected to be signed, covering various areas of mutual interest.

We believe that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to New Zealand will provide new momentum to foster cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, education and training, security, and defense.

By exploring and utilizing the untapped potentials for cooperation, this visit will contribute to Vietnam’s economic growth, social stability, and sustainable development.

Moreover, we believe that this visit will further deepen the strategic partnership between Vietnam and New Zealand, strengthening mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.

The action program to implement the Vietnam-New Zealand strategic partnership for the period 2021-2024 sets the direction for bilateral cooperation and has proven instrumental in enhancing cooperation between the two nations since the establishment of the strategic partnership.

What are the achievements under this program and the prospects for future cooperation between the two countries?

The action program aims to strengthen political relations, promote trade relations, enhance agricultural cooperation, foster connections in education and training, develop defense and security cooperation, and further expand people-to-people exchanges between Vietnam and New Zealand.

Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have been advancing, fostering political trust, mutual respect, and understanding.

Both nations have engaged in regular high-level visits, including anticipated high-level visits in 2022 and over 20 working delegations at ministerial, sectoral, and local levels in 2023.

Additionally, Vietnam and New Zealand continue to closely work together and cooperate in multilateral forums, sharing common perspectives on international and regional issues.

Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand Nguyen Van Trung. (Photo: NH)

The trade exchange between Vietnam and New Zealand has experienced a sustainable recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Vietnam is New Zealand’s 15th largest trading partner, while New Zealand ranks as Vietnam’s 38th largest trading partner. The two-way trade turnover reached US$1.3 billion in 2023.

Furthermore, the education and training sector has witnessed significant achievements, highlighted by the first Vietnam-New Zealand Education Cooperation Forum held in late 2022. Currently, there are approximately 2,000 Vietnamese students studying in New Zealand.

In light of these accomplishments, during Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit, both sides will discuss measures to evaluate the 2021-2024 action program’s outcomes and identify new areas of cooperation that are relevant to the current situation.

In addition to the traditional areas of cooperation, which have shown clear effectiveness, what are the new opportunities for bilateral cooperation?

Alongside the existing collaboration in fields such as economy, trade, investment, agriculture, education and training, security, defense, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges, both Vietnam and New Zealand should maximize the potential for cooperation in new areas and seek new opportunities for development.

New Zealand possesses strengths in the green economy, energy transition, innovation, digital economy, and digital transformation.

As an island nation, New Zealand has expertise in marine environmental management and protection, as well as sustainable marine economic development that aligns with biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.

In addition, due to its small population, New Zealand is currently facing a shortage of workers, including both skilled and unskilled labor. This represents an opportunity for bilateral cooperation in the coming years.

The strategic partnership between Vietnam and New Zealand continues to evolve, capitalizing on the potential and strengths of cooperation from both sides.

We firmly believe that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to New Zealand will provide a valuable opportunity to engage in discussions with New Zealand’s senior leaders and partners, translating these opportunities into concrete cooperation, generating new impetus and breakthroughs for the bilateral relationship in the future.

Rosie Nguyen