Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern formally agreed to lift the two countries’ comprehensive partnership to strategic partnership during their virtual summit on July 22.
To guide this strengthening relationship, the statement says New Zealand and Vietnam are committed to deepening bilateral political cooperation through frequent high-level exchanges between political parties, parliamentary and governmental delegations.
During their talks, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and PM Jacinda Ardern described trade and investment cooperation as a key component of the bilateral strategic partnership. Therefore, they vowed to open markets and reduce barriers to bilateral trade, especially for agricultural, seafood, and timber products through enhancing market access, trade facilitation, information exchange, and collaboration between the two countries’ customs, and agriculture, food safety, and animal health agencies.
To boost two-way investment and inclusive growth, the two PMs agreed to promote cooperation in developing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), indigenous and ethnic businesses.
They pledged to further enhance bilateral agriculture cooperation, including through joint research, collaboration and action on climate change in agriculture and forestry, agri-tech, technical assistance on plant health laboratory accreditation, plant breeding, food safety management and electronic certification, trade in legal timber products, and commercialization of agriculture products.
The two PMs reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to deepening regional economic integration by resisting all forms of protectionism and promoting trade liberalization across the Asia-Pacific region. They voiced their unwavering support for the rules-based, free, open, transparent, and inclusive multilateral trading system, including reform of the World Trade Organization.
Both host and guest expressed concerns over recent developments in the East Sea, including disruptive activities, and underscored the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoidance of actions that may further complicate the situation or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.
They reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight, pursuing the peaceful resolution of disputes and respecting legal and diplomatic processes, in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They underscored the importance of UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms and called upon the parties to respect the decisions rendered by these mechanisms.
The two PMs reiterated the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in its entirety as well as the swift conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct for the East Sea (COC) that is consistent with international law, particularly UNCLOS, without prejudice to the interests of third parties or the rights of states under international law.
Photo Cr.: VOV