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Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart for a five-day visit to Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu today to discuss trade issues as well as his candidature for WTO Director-General role.
“We are an important trading partner for many of our Pacific neighbours,” says Mr Groser. “Therefore this visit will be an opportunity to meet my counterparts in these five nations and discuss New Zealand’s trade and economic relationship with them.”
“I look forward to discussing how we can support them to advance their respective economic growth prospects and that of the region.
“Building close and constructive relationships with our Pacific neighbours is very important, as is taking the opportunity to hear their perspective on international trade negotiations and regional trade initiatives.
“This year is vital for the World Trade Organisation which will be meeting at Ministerial level in Bali in December. How Pacific country concerns can be met will be important for whether the WTO’s agenda can be moved forward.
“With that in mind, I am expecting to discuss my candidature for WTO Director-General role and I will be formally seeking their support for this role,” Mr Groser says.
In response to the earthquake and tsunami which hit Santa Cruz Island on Waitangi Day, the RNZAF B757 will also be carrying relief supplies, donated to World Vision by the Warehouse and ShelterBox NZ, into Honiara. Stocks include shelter and sanitation kits, tarpaulins, water containers, and chainsaw packs from the New Zealand Government.