Auckland (VNA) – Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue and a high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese legislature arrived at Auckland International Airport in the late afternoon of December 3 (local time), beginning their official visit to New Zealand at the invitation of Speaker of the House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe.
The delegation was welcomed at the Auckland International Airport by Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand Nguyen Van Trung, the Vietnamese Embassy's staff and representatives of the New Zealand government and Auckland city's administration.
During the visit from December 3-7, Hue is scheduled to hold talks with Adrian; meet with senior leaders of New Zealand; attend Vietnam-New Zealand educational and economic cooperation forums; meet with the embassy's staff and representatives of the Vietnamese community; and have several other activities.
New Zealand is a strategic partner of Vietnam in South Pacific, with the bilateral ties growing in different fields. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exchange of delegations was suspended during 2021-2022 but high-level conversations have been still maintained and bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been deployed in both online and offline forms.
The 2021-2024 Action of Plan with New Zealand to realise the bilateral strategic partnership has seen positive results.
In economic terms, Vietnam and New Zealand are both members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). New Zealand is now the 36th largest trading partner of Vietnam. Two-way trade reached 1.3 billion USD last year, up 26.7% year-on-year. The figure increased by 13.6% year on year to 1.1 billion USD in the first nine months of this year.
New Zealand also approved the supply of ODA worth 26.7 million NZD for Vietnam during 2021-2024, equivalent to the sum in the 2018-2021 period. The country also supplied 30,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses and 2 million NZD in post-pandemic relief aid to Vietnam.
There remains ample room to further boost coordination in national defence, security, education-training, labour and agriculture. In particular, the two countries are interested in new cooperation areas such as climate change response, digital transformation and energy transition.
Though few visits were paid due to COVID-19, leaders of the two legislatures still maintained all-level meetings on the sidelines of regional and international conferences.
At regional and gblobal inter-parliamentary forums, the two countries' delegations of lawmakers regularly discussed and supported each other on regional and national issues of mutual concern. The 15th Vietnamese NA continued to establish the Vietnam – New Zealand Friendship Parliamentarians' Group and maintained information exchange with the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam.
Aiming to deploy the foreign policy of the 13th National Party Congress, the visit is of important significance as it is the first trip to New Zealand by a senior Vietnamese leader since the two countries fully reopened their doors following the pandemic and also the first made by Hue in his capacity as Chairman of the Vietnamese NA./.
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