VN, NZ Prime Ministers hold virtual summit to discuss upgrading ties
13:05 | 22/07/2020
VGP - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and New Zeand’s counterpart Jacinda Ardern held virtual summit on July 22 to discuss elevation of the bilateral ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Photo: VGP

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Speaking at a recent press breifing, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said the two leaders are expected to discuss measures to foster bolateral ties across such fields like politics, trade-investment, defense and security, education, agriculture, people-to-people exchanges, and COVID-19 response, in a comprehensive and practical manner.

The summit aims to lift up the bilateral ties to new levels in line with the spirit of the Joint Statement issued on the occasion of Prime Minister Phuc’s visit to New Zealand in 2018.

The pair will also exchange views on regional and international issues of common concerns, said the Spokesperson.

Photo: VGP

Viet Nam’s diplomatic ties with New Zealand date back to June 19, 1975. New Zealand opened Embassy in Ha Noi and Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in November 1995 while Viet Nam opened Embassy in New Zealand in May 2003 and a commercial affairs office in Auckland in 2005.

The bilateral ties advanced quickly over the past years, with New Zealand considering Viet Nam as an important partner in its foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific region.

The two countries elevated ties to comprehensive partnership in September 2009 and signed an Action Program in 2013 to implement the Comprehsive Partnership for 2013-2016 period.

Present at the virtual summit include Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung and Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung. Photo: VGP

In March 2015, leaders of the two countries issued a Joint Statement on enhancing the Comprehensive Partnership toward the establishment of Strategic Partnership

During Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh’s official visit to New Zealand in December 2016, the two countries continued affirming their resolve to work toward the Strategic Partnership and signed Comprehensive Partnership Action Plan for 2017-2020 on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

New Zealander Ambassador in Viet Nam Wendy Mathews also attends the virtual summit. Photo: VGP

The two countries have maintained high-level contacts and exchanges of visits, with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, Prime Minister John Key, and and Prime Minister Ardern visiting Viet Nam in 2013, 2010 and 2015, and 2017, respectively.

Meanwhile, high-level visits to New Zealand were made by Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh in September 2009, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in March 2015, and Prime Minister Phuc in March 2018.

They have also maintained bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including a strategic dialogue on national defence at the deputy ministerial level, which was first held in November 2015.

On trade, by the end of 2018, New Zealand had 28 valid projects worth about US$101.94 million in Viet Nam, ranking it 41st out of 120 countries and territories investing in the country. Viet Nam had six joint venture projects capitalized at US$25.62 million in New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Ministe Jacinda Ardern (middle). Photo: VGP

New Zealand has increased its official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam, from US$2.3 million during the 2003-2004 financial year to around US$7.4 million for 2012-2013 and US$18.6 million for 2015-2018, via both bilateral and multilateral channels, focusing on such areas as personnel development, education and training, and sustainable agricultural and rural development.

Progress has also been seen in cooperation in national defence and security, education and training, labour, transport, tourism, and agriculture.

New Zealander Ambassador in Viet Nam Wendy Mathews said the two countries’ agricultural sectors are reciprocal. New Zealand has allowed the importation of Vietnamese mango, dragon fruit, and rambutan. In turn, Viet Nam has opened its doors to New Zealand’s potatoes, frozen beef, kiwi fruit, and apples.

Photo: VGP

On education, Viet Nam and New Zealand have renewed their Strategic Engagement Plan on Education for 2020-2023 period.

Under the renewed agreement signed by Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc and New Zealander Ambassador Wendy Mathews on July 21, New Zealand pledged to continue helping Viet Nam to achieve its education goals in the 21st century.

The two countries also supported each other and coordinated closely in the negotiations over and signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement and are pushing ahead with talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

More than 5,000 Vietnamese are living in New Zealand, mostly in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington./.

By Quang Minh

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