Vietnam, New Zealand step up cooperation in raft of fields: Ambassador hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (behind, left) and his New Zealand counteprart Jacinda Ardern (behind, right) witness the signing of a cooperation plan on education-training between the two countries on March 13, 2018 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Vietnam and New Zealand have seen strong developments in relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in June 1975, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand Ta Van Thong.

New Zealand is one of Vietnam’s most important trade partners. Bilateral economic ties have seen outstanding progress, he said on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the relations, since the two established their comprehensive partnership in 2009 and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement was signed in 2010.

He cited data from Statistics New Zealand that two-way trade reached 2.04 billion NZD (1.3 billion USD) in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent.

New Zealand has implemented a range of activities to support Vietnam in fields which it has strengths, such as agriculture, e-government, education, and natural disaster prevention, the ambassador added.

The seventh meeting of the Vietnam-New Zealand joint committee on economic and trade cooperation is slated for this year, which is an important mechanism for the two sides to seek measures to further promote the partnership in fields of potential such as trade, aviation services, tourism, and education and training.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges, the ambassador said, are also priorities in bilateral relations.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to pay an official visit to Vietnam and attend the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit in central Da Nang city this year.

The two countries are expected to issue a joint statement during the visit on elevating bilateral relations to a strategic partnership with a new action plan, Thong said.

Based on the bilateral friendship and mutual trust, the two countries have been closely coordinating at multilateral forums such as the UN, the APEC Forum, and the WTO, as well as in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he noted.

As New Zealand will be the APEC Chair in 2021, Vietnam is committed to strengthening coordination with the country to ensure success, the diplomat affirmed./.