Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta co-chaired the first Vietnam – New Zealand Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Wellington on September 14, VNA reported.
|Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta. Source: baoquocte.vn
The meeting was in line with the Action Plan to deploy the Vietnam – New Zealand Strategic Partnership for the 2021-2024 period.
This is the first high-level face-to-face meeting in New Zealand since Vietnam and New Zealand became Strategic Partners. FM Bui Thanh Son was welcomed on to Parliament grounds with a pōwhiri – a formal Māori welcome that shows the deep respect the people of Aotearoa New Zealand have for the people of Vietnam.
Son, who is on an official visit to New Zealand from September 13-15, affirmed that Vietnam always highly values strengthening ties with New Zealand, a strategic partner of Vietnam in the South Pacific and also a strategic partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Both sides shared the view that since they upgraded the bilateral ties to the strategic partnership in July 2020, practical and effective progress has been seen in their comprehensive cooperation.
Despite impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic, two-way trade still rose by 26.7% annually in 2021 to USD 1.3 billion. New Zealand committed NZD 26.7 million (USD 16 million) in official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam from July 2021 to June 2024. Cooperative ties in the fields of national defence-security, education-training and agriculture have also been promoted.
According to Stats NZ Tatauranga Aotearoa, New Zealand’s official data agency, the countries’ two-way turnover in 2021 hit NZD 2.2 billion (USD 1.34 billion), an annual increase of 14.7%. The figure was NZD 1.255 billion in the first half of 2022, up 20,8% year on year.
Notably, New Zealand freshly offered Vietnam an economic recovery aid worth NZD 2 million. The two sides are working to tap new opportunities in development cooperation with a focus on their new priority areas such as green growth, digital transformation, and digital economic development.
|Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta co-chaired the first Vietnam-New Zealand Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Wellington on September 14. Source: baoquocte.vn
The ministers agreed to continue consolidating political ties and trust via the exchange of delegations and high-level meetings, maintain bilateral cooperation and dialogue mechanisms, effectively tapping existing economic cooperation mechanisms such as the Joint Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation, the High-Level Dialogue on Agricultural Cooperation, and implement new-generation trade deals such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to which both nations are members.
Son suggested New Zealand offer all possible support for Vietnam’s farm produce to enter the country, initially fresh lemon, pomelo and longan. He also proposed New Zealand to continue providing ODA for Vietnam in the fields of sustainable agriculture, climate change response, health and innovation.
Mahuta vowed to create conditions for Vietnamese firms to do business in the country in promising fields such as processing, wholesale and retail, and agriculture.
The Vietnamese minister asked New Zealand to offer more scholarships to Vietnamese students and officials from Vietnamese ministries, agencies and localities, as well as make it easier for Vietnamese students to return to New Zealand following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two sides discussed increasing quotas for Vietnamese citizens under the Working Holiday Visa programme and the resumption of direct flights between the two nations.
The host minister pledged to continue assisting Vietnam in training personnel for peacekeeping missions, fighting trans-national crimes, and sharing experience in disaster prevention, control, search and rescue operations.
They highlighted the need to bolster ties in climate change response, reduction of greenhouse emissions, forest preservation and development, sustainable and eco-friendly agriculture, fishery cooperation, and marine environment protection.
On regional and global issues, they promised to continue mutual trust and support at multilateral organisations and forums, especially at the United Nations and ASEAN.
They shared a stance on ensuring peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region based on rules, and settling matters, including the Bien Dong Sea issue, in line with international law, and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Mahuta reaffirmed that New Zealand treasures its strategic partnership with ASEAN and will support sub-regional mechanisms.
|Speaker of New Zealand’s House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe (R) and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son. Photo: VNA
On the same day, Son met Speaker of New Zealand’s House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe.
The Vietnamese official suggested the government and House of Representatives of New Zealand create conditions for the Vietnamese community to stably live in and integrate into the host country’s society; and make it easy for Vietnamese students to study in the country after the pandemic.
The two sides should further promote people-to-people exchange and tourism cooperation by soon resuming direct flights between the two countries, Son said.
Regarding regional and international cooperation, the two sides affirmed they will maintain cooperation and coordination at multilateral mechanisms such as ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the UN, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development on the basis of respect to international law and the UN Charter.