New Zealand reaffirms commitment to enhancing partnership with ASEAN hinh anh 1New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (centre) and ASEAN leaders at the online commemorative summit on November 14 (Photo: VNA)

Sydney (VNA) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on November 14 reaffirmed the important role of and commitment to strengthening her country’s partnership with ASEAN.

In a release on November 14, the New Zealand Government noted that at the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit, which was held digitally to mark the 45th anniversary of the two parties’ diplomatic partnership, PM Ardern said: “New Zealand and ASEAN share a strong legacy of working together to advance peace and prosperity in our region.”

She pointed out that ASEAN is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, a crucial defence and security partner, and a critical strategic hub that connects her country to Asia and the rest of the world.

“Our partnership will play an important role as our countries work together to support global efforts to manage the pandemic and ensure fair and equitable access to safe vaccines, and drive economic recovery through maintaining open markets for our exporters and resilient supply chains,” she said.

The PM, through a joint statement with other participating leaders, reaffirmed New Zealand’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with ASEAN under the themes of “Peace, Prosperity, People and Planet”, which will promote cooperation in areas such as sustainability and climate change, trade facilitation and digital commerce.

Speaking ahead of the East Asia Summit (EAS), to be held also via videoconference later on November 14, PM Ardern said the meeting will be a good chance to exchange views with other leaders on the pandemic and issues such as the East Sea and climate change./.