Earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern went to Vietnam with a sizeable trade delegation, intent on selling New Zealand to one of South East Asia's most rapidly emerging markets. It was the first big trade mission to Vietnam following pandemic shutdowns, and the strategic partnership between the two countries was formed in 2020.
Now, New Zealand is looking to take advantage of the 100 million-strong market, which might become the fastest growing large economy in the world up to the year 2050.
RNZ business editor Gyles Beckford said there has been a "complete sea change" in the Vietnamese economy over the last 50 years: "Vietnam, a lot like China, has become a part of the global market economy and while it remains a one-party state, it clearly is driven by commerce and doing business in a way that New Zealanders understand," he said.
Ardern said resilience was important in New Zealand's export portfolio: "You look at what happened when you saw border closures with Covid - if you had too much reliance on one market it became really problematic. Making sure that we either have diversification or good plans in place should there be disruption to market is just good practice."
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