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Official Gazette

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

NA Chairman’s visit to further advance Vietnam-NZ relationship: Ambassador

Updated: 08:38’ - 03/12/2022
New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Tredene Dobson has highlighted the significance of the visit by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue from December 3-7, saying that she believes it will further demonstrate the mutually beneficial nature of the bilateral relationship and of course further advance the relationship in key areas.
Following is the full text of the interview granted to Vietnam News Agency.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue welcomes NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern__Photo: VNA

Reporter: Ambassador, could you please share on the significance of the National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in the context of the thriving Vietnam – New Zealand Strategic Partnership after 45 years of diplomatic relations (1975-2020) and back-to-back with Vietnam visit of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?

Ambassador: It is hugely significant to have back-to-back high-level visits like this and I think it speaks volumes of the state of the relationship between Vietnam and New Zealand. Leaders in both countries have witnessed the expanding ties between our countries and have clearly see the massive potential to grow further still. The leadership has been critical in opening doors and forging connections in various sectors. For example, the education and business delegations accompanying Chairman Hue will be key to amplifying in New Zealand some of the messages that were delivered during Prime Minister Ardern’s visit here.

Overall, I believe the upcoming visit will further demonstrate the mutually beneficial nature of the bilateral relationship and of course further advance the relationship in key areas, namely inter-parliamentary, business to business, and people-to-people links.

Reporter: How does Your Excellency view about the role of inter-parliamentary cooperation in the bilateral relations between Vietnam – New Zealand?

Ambassador: The National Assembly of Vietnam and New Zealand Parliament have had a strong relationship for a number of years thanks to many two-way exchanges. And I’m please to say that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high level cooperation and engagement has continued. Only one week after the Strategic Partnership elevation, former National Assembly Chairwoman HE Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, had a phone call to review parliamentary cooperation in the context of the Strategic Partnership.
Chairman Hue’s visit is therefore an important next milestone in that collaboration.

 The Vietnam – New Zealand Parliamentary Friendship Group has also been playing a vital role in maintaining the connection between the National Assembly and the New Zealand Parliament. Members of the group act as ambassadors for the parliamentary relationship both at central and local levels. The connection between the two Parliaments is further strengthened through people-to-people links. Many officials of the National Assembly have brought back good memories of New Zealand, and enhanced English language, as a result of New Zealand’s English Language Training Program for Officials (ELTO). This program – which has been in place for a number of decades now - has really helped to build an understanding of New Zealand within Viet Nam’s National Assembly.

On multilateral issues, both Parliaments have been cooperating closely and effectively in multilateral platforms on gender equality and sustainable development, contributing to the success of Vietnam’s ASEAN and AIPA 2020 Chairmanship,  and New Zealand’s hosting of APEC 2021.

As the National Assembly is the highest representative of Vietnamese people, these inter-parliamentary ties also represent and contribute to enhancing the relationship between our two peoples. The understanding of the laws, regulations and cultures of both peoples have been enhanced thanks to these regular exchanges in both bilateral and multilateral channels in the past few years.

New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Tredene Dobson__Photo: NZ Embassy in Vietnam

Reporter: New Zealand and Vietnam are targeting USD 2 billion two-way trade by 2024. What does Your Excellency think our two Parliaments should do to contribute to the achievement of the above targets as well as leverage the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements that both countries are members to?

Ambassador: The National Assembly of Vietnam and the Parliament of New Zealand both play an important role in the socio-economic development of our countries and our economies. Both parliaments have committees or working groups that focus on economic development – including things like innovation, business-to-business development, technology and commerce. I expect there to be plenty of engagement during Chairman Hue’s visit on these sorts of issues and sharing knowledge and experience around how our respective parliaments engage with them.  

In Vietnam, the National Assembly has a critical function in assessing and approving the joining of free trade agreements and regional economic mechanisms such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). As Vietnam and New Zealand both champion free and open trade, I think we can also expect a lot of discussion around how to best leverage our trade relationship under the framework of these FTAs and economic frameworks.

Another point for further collaboration in our parliamentary ties is the inclusive trade agenda, through which both New Zealand and Vietnam want to make sure our economic growth can benefit the well-being of all members of our communities, including the indigenous Maori people in New Zealand and ethnic minority groups in Vietnam.- (VNA/VLLF)

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