New Zealand has said that it added the Strategy for Peace into core cooperation with ASEAN, together with Strategies for the People and for Prosperity.

The notice was made by the New Zealand delegation at the 7th meeting of the ASEAN-New Zealand joint Cooperation Committee (ANZJCC) held in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 5. Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN Tran Duc Binh attended the meeting.

At the meeting, the two sides praised the results achieved in all areas of political-security and economic and socio-cultural cooperation. Currently, New Zealand is ASEAN's 10th largest trading partner with two-way trade in 2017 reaching US$9.5 billion. New Zealand's foreign direct investment in ASEAN reached US$ 300 million in 2017. It is also the 9th largest FDI investor of ASEAN.

During the implementation of the ASEAN-New Zealand Action Plan for the 2016-2020 period with the two Strategies for the People and for Prosperity, there have been 55/59 actions carried out on the fields related to politics-security, economy, socio-cultural development, connecting and closing development gaps. Cooperation programmes between both sides have contributed to supporting ASEAN to achieve the goals of realising the ASEAN Community and closing development gaps.

New Zealand affirmed its respect for tightening relations with ASEAN and committed to supporting the central role of ASEAN in the region, while actively participating in ASEAN-led regional mechanisms, such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on Security, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM +) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF). New Zealand will also continue to support ASEAN to build the ASEAN Community and implement the ASEAN Vision2025, while narrowing the development and connectivity gap and contributing to maintaining peace, stability and development in the region and the East Sea as well.

In the near future, ASEAN and New Zealand agreed to continue to deepen the ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership, coordinate closely to effectively implement and complete the agreed contents in the Action Plan for the 2016-2020 period, and identify key cooperation contents in the coming time to prepare for construction of an action plan for the next phase.

They will also start focusing on areas of mutual concern and those that New Zealand has strengths and ASEAN also prioritises in, such as promoting trade and investment cooperation, science and technology, digital economy, strengthening connectivity, among others.

They also agreed to continue to fully implement the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and promote the early conclusion of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of 2019.

                                                              Source: NDO

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