JAKARTA, 8 July 2019 – As ASEAN and New Zealand prepare to celebrate the 45th anniversary of their relations next year, officials from both sides discussed ways to make the strategic partnership more robust at the 7th ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 5 July.
Noting that 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations and the 5th anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership, ASEAN expressed appreciation to New Zealand for the enduring partnership and cooperation and looked forward to working closely with New Zealand to take the relations to a greater height.
Both sides reviewed the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Statement for ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership (2016-2020). They agreed to reinforce cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including the support for the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III to narrow the development gap within ASEAN.
ASEAN appreciated New Zealand’s continued support to ASEAN Community building efforts, and welcomed Wellington’s key strategies for Peace, Prosperity, and People, which align with the three pillars of the ASEAN Community. New Zealand reiterated its commitment to ASEAN Centrality and the regional architecture, and welcomed the announcement of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. In stressing the importance of upholding an open and rules-based multilateral trading system, the Meeting looked forward to the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations in 2019.
Both sides also exchanged views on the future direction of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations. In moving forward, both sides looked forward to the drafting of a new five-year Plan of Action next year to focus on strengthening the partnership through focused areas of cooperation such as, trade through the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), food and agriculture, renewable energy, and governance and public sector leadership. Other areas of cooperation include good regulatory practices, climate change and environmental issues, disaster management, educational exchanges, smart cities development in collaboration with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, and connectivity including working towards an ASEAN-New Zealand air services agreement.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Permanent Representative of Cambodia to ASEAN Yeap Samnang and Ambassador of New Zealand to ASEAN Pam Dunn. It was attended by members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and their representatives as well as the ASEAN Secretariat.