Ambassador highlights Vietnam-New Zealand ties ahead of PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit

WVR/VNA - New Zealand Acting Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Hinton has highlighted the significance of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse’s upcoming visit to New Zealand following his attendance at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne and his official visit to Australia.
Ambassador highlights Vietnam-New Zealand ties ahead of PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit
Ambassador highlights Vietnam-New Zealand ties ahead of PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit: Acting Ambassador of New Zealand to Vietnam Wendy Hinton. (Photo: VNA)

In an interview recently granted to the Vietnamese media, Ambassador Hinton said New Zealand has quite a new Government which was elected last October, and this is very significant for Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's Government because it is the first visit to New Zealand by a head of Government since that election.

Prime Minister Chinh will therefore be meeting for the first time with not only Prime Minister Luxon, but also with the Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament, the Governor-General and other high-ranking officials, which will underline the significance of the Vietnam - New Zealand relationship.

Looking back on 2021, Ambassador Hinton said New Zealand and Vietnam concluded a strategic partnership action plan, and the visit will be an opportunity to reflect on how that plan has developed and what the outcomes have been, and focus on not only the achievements but also areas of future focus. As 2024 is the last year of that plan, both sides will consider at the highest level whether they will be taking that into the future.

They will be discussing how they might do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2025, the Ambassador said, adding that overall, there will be a good opportunity for leaders of both sides to talk about connections in all areas to build strong rapport.

Some areas that the two countries been working together already include agricultural cooperation and business development, and there are also other possibilities for cooperation in climate change, green economy, digital transformation, and agricultural technology.

There is a big business delegation accompanying Prime Minister Chinh and that offers an excellent chance to develop new business partnerships and promote the goal of achieving two-way trade at a certain level, probably about 2 billion USD by the end of this year, she said.

In her view, the visit will establish connections and enable discussions on existing cooperation in the areas of trade, finance, investment, agriculture, education, national defence and security, and notably a new strategic partnership action plan.

Hopefully, three agreements in education, trade, and economic cooperation will be signed at the end of the visit. The two Prime Ministers will also make two important announcements on other bilateral cooperation areas, Hinton said.

Highlighting milestones in bilateral ties since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in June 1975, she said two-way trade hit 1.67 billion USD as of December 2023, which is not too far off from the goal of 2 billion USD later this year.

As agriculture is a key element of bilateral trading relationship, the current common priorities are greenhouse gas emissions reduction, food safety, plant and animal health, and rural development.

Ambassador Hinton also spotlighted the progress of bilateral ties across education, national defence-security, clean energy, climate resilience in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture, and disaster and risk management in dam safety, especially in the Mekong region.

Asked about Vietnam’s role and position on the global arena, the diplomat said New Zealand sees Vietnam as an important factor in the region and the world, adding that the country has really constructively engaged in global and regional frameworks, such as the UN peacekeeping mission and accession to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2022.

Vietnam was visited by a series of top leaders in 2023, which showes that Vietnam is a stable and outward looking partner, she added.

The Ambassador stressed that New Zealand and Vietnam have a very strong record of cooperation in regional organisations and institutions such as APEC and an ASEAN-centred regional architecture as well as economic integration initiatives, and both countries share commitment to multilateralism and international law.

New Zealand and Vietnam are both members of several regional trading agreements such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), she said, adding that New Zealand welcomes Vietnam's partnership in that context.

As Vietnam coordinates the ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue relationship from 2024-2027, she said this really provides an excellent opportunity for further bilateral cooperation on regional issues and consolidate bilateral partnership in the region.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)