Vietnam, New Zealand seek to enhance bilateral trade
The seventh meeting of the Joint Trade and Economic Commission (JTEC) between Vietnam and New Zealand was held online on October 23, co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and New Zealand’s Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic Vangelis Vitalis.
The meeting is part of the important cooperation mechanisms to discuss and bolster the two countries’ trade and economic cooperation.
Participants reviewed the recent cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, agriculture, education and training, tourism, aviation, and employment.
They spoke highly of the efforts and close collaboration in the implementation of agreements in economy and trade reached between high-ranking leaders of the two countries.
The two sides also consented to continue enhancing cooperation in those endeavours, as well as in multilateral trade talks, farm produce trade, clean industry, and farm produce supply chain development.
In his remarks, Khanh underlined that both Vietnam and New Zealand are dynamic economies and have rolled out reform measures to make use of their advantages and potential for further integration into the global economy.
Notably, the two countries hold huge potential for strengthening cooperation in trade, industry, and investment, and need to exert more effort in bringing bilateral relations on par with the strategic partnership, elevated in July.
Regarding the impact of COVID-19, delegates agreed to foster bilateral and regional cooperation for economic recovery. They also pledged to ensure that economic and trade cooperation frameworks to which Vietnam and New Zealand are signatories aim at the further expansion of two-way trade.
In addition, they discussed prioritised products of each side, particularly lime and pomelo from Vietnam and strawberries and pumpkin from New Zealand, to facilitate bilateral trade.
The countries will regularly update regulations and standards on quality, hygiene, and food safety for agro-forestry-fishery exports and share experience in trade promotions, brand building, post-harvest technologies, and agro-fishery processing.
They also agreed to continue to join hands and support each other at cooperation mechanisms and frameworks, notably the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
Of particular note, delegates affirmed that the sustainable development of the Mekong sub-region plays an essential role in the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision.
Vietnam called on New Zealand to partner with countries in the Mekong sub-region in disaster management, water-food-energy security, climate-smart agriculture, public health, and human resources.
Data from the Asia-Africa Market Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that Vietnam is the 14th largest trade partner and 15th largest importer of New Zealand, ranking fifth in ASEAN.
Vietnam-New Zealand trade has enjoyed average growth of 14.2% annually since the establishment of the comprehensive partnership in 2009, reaching US$1.1 billion last year.
Two-way trade totalled US$1.4 billion in the first half of this year, up 15% against the 2016 figure.