The first ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting was held at the ASEAN Secretariat headquarter in Indonesia ’s capital city of Jakarta on November 20.

The meeting, co-chaired by Permanent Representative of Laos to the ASEAN Ambassador Latsamy Keomany, and Ambassador of New Zealand to ASEAN David Taylor, highlighted the progress of the ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action (2010-2015) and the Four Flagship Initiatives.

Both sides agreed to strengthen joint efforts to effectively implement the priority areas for 2013-2014. A number of potential areas for future cooperation were proposed by both sides such as food and energy security, agricultural development, standard and quality control, climate change and disaster management, SMEs development, and education, among others.

The meeting also emphasized the need to align ASEAN- New Zealand cooperation with the development of the ASEAN Community until and beyond 2015 so that New Zealand ’s support to ASEAN in this endeavor could be well planned and timely delivered.

ASEAN welcomed New Zealand ’s new strategy to strengthen and deepen its engagement with the 10-member bloc as reflected in the paper “ New Zealand ’s ASEAN Partnership: One Pathway to Ten Nations” launched by New Zealand ’s Prime Minister in July 2013.

New Zealand reaffirmed the commitment to continue its support for ASEAN regional integration and connectivity, and to encourage its businesses and the private sector to further engage with the region.
Further, the meeting discussed preparations for the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit in 2015 and commemorative activities to mark the 40 th Anniversary of the Dialogue Relations.-VNA