27th ASEAN – New Zealand Dialogue takes place in Cambodia hinh anh 1Participants at the dialogue (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 27th ASEAN – New Zealand Dialogue took place on February 20-21 in Cambodia, focusing on commitments to further deepening bilateral strategic partnership in 2020.

Participants acknowledged outcomes in cooperation between ASEAN and New Zealand, and pledged to closely coordinate in ensuring efficiency of regional cooperation mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM ).

Sharing the same view of supporting an open, fair and rules-based multilateral international trading system, the two sides agreed to evaluate the implementation and negotiation for upgrading the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and exert efforts to complete negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2020.

The meeting also noted the progress of drafting the ASEAN-New Zealand Action Plan for the period 2021-2025.

New Zealand affirmed its support for the central role played by ASEAN in the region, while appreciating the “ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific” document, and proposing the strengthening of cooperation in the fields relating to security, economy, people and environment.

Regarding international and regional situations, the two sides reiterated their views on the East Sea stated at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in January, which emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, strictly and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and actively negotiating to build an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

New Zealand supports ASEAN's efforts in humanitarian assistance activities in Myanmar's Rakhine state, and denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula.

The two sides also shared concern over the impact of the coronarivus disease (COVID-19) on the world and the region, and agreed to enhance cooperation to combat this disease.

As the ASEAN Chair, Vietnam shared ASEAN's priorities and initiatives in 2020, affirming that Vietnam will continue to promote the close relationship between the bloc and New Zealand.

Vietnam also suggested stronger cooperation between the two sides in specific fields such as maritime collaboration, economic connectivity, sub-regional development and gender equality. It affirmed to closely coordinate with ASEAN countries and New Zealand to successfully organise the ASEAN-New Zealand Summit in order to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the partnership between the two sides in April this year./.