Vietnam is currently the 16th largest trade partner of New Zealand and the two countries boast many advantages from supplementing each other. New Zealand has high demand for importing garments and textiles, footwear, wood, tropical farm produce, and seafood, which are strengths of Vietnam, while Vietnam needs to import milk and dairy products, wine, lamb, fruit, raw wood materials, and materials and accessories for garment-textile and leather-footwear.
New Zealand has allowed the import of Vietnamese fresh mangoes, dragon fruit, and rambutan, while Vietnam is proposing it also grant licences for the import of fresh limes and passionfruit.
Vietnam has opened door for potatoes, frozen beef, kiwi fruit, and apples from New Zealand, to boost bilateral trade.
In the context of COVID-19, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested the two countries strive to achieve two-way trade of US$2 billion each year, during his online high-level talks with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern.
He asked New Zealand to open its door wider to Vietnamese farm produce as well as share experience in building brands and developing value chains for certain fruit to access other selective markets.
Keith Conway, Chargé d’Affaires at the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam, said two-way trade enjoyed growth of over 7% in 2019.
Both countries are among the top 20 trade partners of each other, with two-way trade tripling after the agreement to set up the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) was signed in 2009.
According to the official, both nations are making good progress in optimising the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and there will therefore be many opportunities to expand markets, especially in high-end food, wine, agriculture technology and equipment, education, and tourism.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews said 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Vietnam has been one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing trade partners in Southeast Asia over the last five years, she added.