PM urges New Zealand to open door wider for ASEAN goods hinh anh 1Leaders at the online ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit on November 14 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 14 called on New Zealand to open its door wider for goods and agricultural products of ASEAN countries as the sides have substantial potential for cooperation.

Addressing the online ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit, the PM suggested New Zealand share its experience in building brands and developing value chains of a number of fruits in order to help the ASEAN countries access demanding markets.

ASEAN is now New Zealand’s fourth largest trade partner, with two-way trade reaching 12.5 billion USD in 2019, he said.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, he proposed New Zealand strengthen cooperation with ASEAN in vaccine research and development, and support the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies and the COVID-19 Response Fund.

Vietnam hopes that, New Zealand, as Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2021, will join hands with regional countries to create strong momentum to overcome the crisis and recover the growth, PM Phuc said.

He also called on New Zealand to create favourable conditions for students of the two sides to seek new learning methods amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASEAN strongly commits to building the East Sea into a maritime area of peace, stability and development, the PM said, adding that the bloc’s stance and principles on the East Sea were made clear at the 36th ASEAN Summit, the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the 37th ASEAN Summit.

ASEAN countries have emphasised the significance of enhancing dialogue and trust, and peaceful addressing disputes in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Relevant sides should exercise self-restraint and not militarise or take actions that would increase tensions and complicate the situation, the PM said.

The countries have also highlighted efforts to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) effectively, efficiently and in accordance with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

Vietnam will closely coordinate with other ASEAN countries and New Zealand to advance the ASEAN-New Zealand cooperation, thus bringing benefits to both sides, for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said ASEAN and New Zealand share a strong legacy of working together to advance peace and prosperity in the region.

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

The partnership will play an important role as the 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 their exporters and resilient supply chains, Jacinda Ardern said.

The PM 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.

At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted Joint ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders’ Vision Statement on the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations:  A Legacy of Partnership, A Future Together.

Under the statement, the leaders shared commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes.

They reaffirmed their dedication to an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture, which respects the sovereignty of all states regardless of their size; which is based on key principles such as adherence to international law and open markets; and which is built on ASEAN-led mechanisms.

The leaders reiterated their determination to promote shared values and norms including those enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, the Charter of the United Nations, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

The sides agreed to continue to work together on trust-building and preventive diplomacy, including through the ASEAN Regional Forum process, and to address regional security challenges, including through cooperation to promote cybersecurity, combat transnational organised crime and cybercrime, strengthen border security, counter terrorism, and promote social inclusiveness to prevent violent extremism.

They welcomed the decision to officially launch negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in early 2021, to ensure it remains a visionary and precedent-setting agreement, which delivers tangible benefits to their businesses, consumers, and peoples, and which demonstrates the genuine economic partnership between ASEAN and New Zealand.

They promised to redouble efforts to deepen practical economic cooperation, improve business linkages, and support human capital development in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, noting the importance of science, technology and innovation for 21st century economies. /.