Vietnam, New Zealand enhance joint work at multilateral forums hinh anh 1Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam and New Zealand have pledged to enhance cooperation within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the WTO and APEC.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor made the pledge during recent phone talks on the sidelines of the 27th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting.

They noted that as Vietnam and New Zealand are active members of new FTAs such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the two need to step up their strategic partnership, which was founded on July 22, 2020, and the bilateral agriculture cooperation agreement signed on February 24, 2021.

Dien hailed New Zealand’s efforts to host APEC meetings via videoconference this year and believes that practical achievements will be made during APEC Year 2021.

He said APEC member states should strive to issue a joint statement at the MRT 27, which should convey a strong political message about strengthening international solidarity and upholding its leading role in regional economic connectivity, maintaining regional cooperation and links.

The statement should also affirm flexibility and adaptability in the new situation, contributing to joint efforts to cope with COVID-19 and gradually recover economies.

The two ministers also touched on important APEC initiatives this year, especially the Plan of Action to realise the APEC Vision 2040, the trade ministers’ statement on facilitating the circulation of necessities, and several new initiatives regarding green, sustainable, and inclusive growth.

O’Connor, for his part, shared his impressions of Vietnam’s economic development over past years and hoped that the country would actively join in discussions at MRT 27 about APEC 2021’s priority initiatives, especially amid the global pandemic.

Concluding the phone talks, both sides agreed to direct relevant units to improve joint work to achieve the goals set in the bilateral economic-trade cooperation strategy./.