Italy's foreign undersecretary Benedetto Della Vedova and New Zealand's ambassador Anthony Simpson on Friday signed an air services accord to boost commercial aviation between the two countries.
The agreement also aims to grow bilateral economic cooperation in closely related sectors like tourism, which is expected to rebound in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a foreign ministry statement.
Relations between Italy and New Zealand are excellent, Della Vedova and Simpson agreed during talks which focussed on negotiations between the New Zealand and European Union on a free trade agreement, the statement said.
The talks also centred on "the converging agendas" of Italy's G20 presidency and New Zealand's presidency of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the statement added.
Della Vedova thanked the New Zealand government for its support for Italy's scientific expeditions in Antarctica during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he hoped for "further steps to help researchers gain access to bases".
"Italy and New Zealand share the same priorities in respect of safeguarding the environment, preserving biodiversity and fighting climate change," Della Vedova said.
Della Vedova cited New Zealand's recent co-sponsorship of European plans to create new two marine conservation areas in the region as "a further sign" of the two countries' shared values.