Vietnam pledges to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in strengthening the relations between the bloc and New Zealand.

Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Representative delegation to ASEAN, addressed the third ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Committee Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 2.

He spoke highly of the outcomes New Zealand’s cooperation with ASEAN and Vietnam in particular had brought about, and suggested a number of priority areas for ASEAN-New Zealand collaboration on politics and security, the economy, culture and society.

The official noted that ASEAN and New Zealand are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of their dialogue partnership, whilst Vietnam and New Zealand are marking 40 years of diplomatic ties.

New Zealand’s Ambassador to ASEAN said his country attached great importance to cooperating with ASEAN and pledged to continue supporting the group in order to establish the ASEAN Economic Community and a post-2015 ASEAN Vision.

New Zealand also supports the central role ASEAN plays in the region and will actively participate in ASEAN-led mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the East Asian Summit (EAS).

The two sides agreed to boost their collaboration further, especially in the fields of mutual interest, such as security, climate change, natural disaster relief, education and training, development and inequality, trade and agriculture.

Trade between ASEAN and New Zealand reached 10.7 billion USD last year.-VNA