VOV.VN - National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue began a three-day official visit to New Zealand on December 3 at the invitation of Adrian Rurawhe, speaker of the House of Representatives, aiming to bolster cooperation between the two legislative bodies and the two countries.
This is the first visit by a high-ranking Vietnamese leader to New Zealand since the two countries fully opened up after the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Zealand is Vietnam’s strategic partner in the South Pacific. The bilateral cooperative relations are developing strongly and effectively in all fields.
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the exchange of reciprocal visits, but the two countries maintained contacts and online meetings at all levels, including phone talks between the two Prime Ministers, political consultations between the two Foreign Ministries, defence policy dialogues, meetings of the joint committee for economic and trade cooperation. Notably, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Vietnam last month.
Both Vietnam and New Zealand are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). New Zealand is currently Vietnam’s 36th largest trading partner. Two-way trade turnover has grown strongly despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching US$1.3 billion last year, up 26.7% compared to 2020. The first nine months of 2022 alone saw bilateral trade turnover rise 13.6% to hit US$1.1 billion.
New Zealand has always provided Vietnam with a stable source of ODA, having approved the NZD26.7 million ODA fund for the Southeast Asian nation in the 2021-2024 period. It has actively supported Vietnam in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Bilateral cooperation in the fields of security - defense, education - training, labour, and agriculture has yielded positive results. The two countries are keen to expand cooperation to a number of new areas such as climate change response, digital transformation, and energy transformation.
The two countries regularly exchange and closely coordinate on regional and international issues at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union ((IPU), ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), and Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP). The National Assembly of Vietnam recently established the Vietnam - New Zealand Friendship Parliamentary Group and maintained information exchange with the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam.
The New Zealand visit by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue takes place at a time when both countries are stepping up economic recovery and carrying out many foreign activities. It will create the chance for the two countries to promote their strategic partnership as well as cooperation bilaterally and internationally in the post-pandemic period.