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New page in Vietnam – New Zealand relations

Vietnam and New Zealand have officially lifted their relations to a strategic partnership, which is an important milestone highlighting the great development of their relationship 45 years after the establishment of diplomatic ties while creating a framework for stronger enhancement of cooperation in all fields in the near future.

Vietnam and New Zealand established their diplomatic ties in 1975. Over the past 45 years, the two countries’ relations have witnessed fine and sustainable development. New Zealand has attached great importance to its relationship with Vietnam and considers Vietnam as an important factor in its policy towards the Asia-Pacific region. 

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Vietnam, New Zealand resign a Strategic Cooperation Plan on education for 2020-2023 period.

In September 2009, the two nations established a comprehensive partnership, creating a milestone to boost their extensive, substantive and effective relations in many fields. On July 22, 2020, Vietnam and New Zealand decided to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. 

The decision showed the two sides’ strong determination to bring their relations to new heights. This is also consistent with the spirit of their joint statement on enhancing the comprehensive partnership, towards the strategic partnership, which was issued during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to New Zealand in 2018.

In recent years, the trade relations between Vietnam and New Zealand have constantly developed with two-way trade turnover increasing steadily every year. In 2019, trade turnover between the two countries reached nearly US$1.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 10%. 

In the first three months of 2020, their bilateral trade revenue was US$268.7 million. The two nations are trying to reach the target of bringing two-way trade to US$1.7 billion in 2020. In terms of investment, as of February this year, New Zealand has had 41 valid direct investment projects in Vietnam, with total registered capital of US$209.44 million. 

New Zealand ranked 47th among 132 countries and territories with foreign direct investment in Vietnam. In contrast, Vietnam currently has ten investment projects worth total US$32.7 million in New Zealand, focusing on processing, manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries. New Zealand ranked 27th among 76 countries and territories receiving investment from Vietnam.

In addition, the cooperation in the fields of security, defence, education-training, transportation and agriculture has witnessed fine development. Vietnam stood ninth among the countries with students studying in New Zealand. 

New Zealand has provided many Masters and PHD scholarships for Vietnam students as well as promoted English training programmes for high-level Vietnamese officials. The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and New Zealand's Educational Agency have recently re-signed a strategic cooperation plan on education for the 2020-2023 period, creating a foundation for the educational cooperation between the two nations to go further. 

Regarding agriculture, Vietnamese mango, dragon fruit, rambutan and tra and basa catfish have been exported to New Zealand. The two sides also agreed to prioritise the consideration of market access requirements for New Zealand’s potatoes and green mussels as well as daisy, rose, tuberose, grapefruit, lemon, star apple and longan of Vietnam.

In term of multilateral cooperation, both Vietnam and New Zealand are members of important regional and international organisations and forums such as United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Asia-Europe cooperation forum and several ASEAN regional cooperation mechanisms. 

The two countries have provided mutual support and closely coordinated in the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the acceleration of the conclusion for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The upgrade to a strategic partnership provides a good impression of Vietnam – New Zealand relations after nearly a half of a century of cooperation for development. With the success of bilateral relations in all fields, this turning point has become an important basis on which to open a new page in the cooperation between the two countries in the coming time.

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Source: NDO

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