The article quoted Chairman of the Digital Council for Aotearoa, member of the Asia Society’s Global Council, and Director of the Augen Software Group, Mitchell Pham as saying that lifting the relationship to “strategic partnership” is an exciting step forward and hopefully means that the two governments will be working much more closely on opportunities for both countries to benefit and that the horizon will also extend beyond just trading with each other.

At the virtual summit on July 22nd (Photo: VNA)

“Doing business and travelling regularly between both countries, I get to be ‘in the relationship zone’ and observe it at ground level,” he said. “I feel a palpably positive vibe and a high level of interest between the two countries. I see visitors, I see trade, I see links between people who are very interested in each other’s history, culture, language, cuisine, fashion, and ultimately business opportunities.”

Regarding the Plan of Action for the Strategic Partnership over the next 12 months, Pham said he hopes to see the two governments establish an environment and ecosystem for the two countries’ industry, business, and community to cooperate.

Meanwhile, Chairman and CEO of KPMG in Vietnam and Chairman of the NZ Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, Warrick Cleine, said the move represents a step-change in the relationship between the two countries. New Zealand enjoys a wonderful reputation in Vietnam, both at the official and societal levels.

This has been built over decades of constructive engagement, and two-way trade has increased significantly over the years, he said, adding that the timing of the announcement could not be better. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, both New Zealand and Vietnam are rare bright spots, having managed the health crisis and prevented any meaningful community spread of the virus while limiting the impact on their economies.

New Zealand needs to build export markets in order to maintain its economic performance, he said, and relatively vibrant economies such as Vietnam are especially important.

“Geopolitics and diversification of supply chains are increasingly relevant post-COVID,” he added. “New Zealand’s exporters and importers must understand and respond to these trends, as they will impact our ability to manage risks going forward and how we are perceived globally. This is an issue that both New Zealand and Vietnam - as small trading nations - have in common. They both need to protect and participate in a rules-based trading system and to diversify both export and import markets”./.

CPV/VNA