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Growing two-way trade and strengthening people-to-people links will be the focus of Prime Minister John Key’s visit to Indonesia and Singapore later this month.
Mr Key, accompanied by Trade Minister Tim Groser in Indonesia, will lead a 26–strong business delegation to both countries.
“Indonesia is New Zealand’s nearest Asian neighbour, and will be an increasingly important partner in years to come,” says Mr Key. “It plays a leading role in regional and global forums, including the Association of South-East Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit and the G20.
“The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, which came into force in Indonesia in January, provides a new framework for doing business between our two countries, and this visit emphasises the value my Government places on this relationship.
“Indonesia is the fourth-most populous country in the world, so there is enormous potential for New Zealand businesses to become more involved in a country that has a growing desire for our products. Indonesia is already our 10th-largest export market, but there is a lot of room to expand that trade, and to deepen the relationship between Indonesians and New Zealanders.
“Leading a delegation of such senior and high-profile business leaders gives impetus to that relationship and will open doors in areas where New Zealand can offer its strengths and expertise, like the food and beverage sector, education, aviation and geothermal energy.”
While on the State visit to Indonesia, Mr Key will meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and will hold bilateral talks with a number of Cabinet Ministers - Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, and Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Pangestu. In addition, Mr Key will meet ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan and speak to the Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council.
Mr Key will meet both President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his State visit to Singapore, taking up a long-standing invitation to visit the country.
“New Zealand’s relationship with Singapore is a deep and enduring one, and this visit underscores those close ties,” says Mr Key. “Our two countries have a long history of education and defence cooperation, as shown by the Colombo Plan and the 40-year-old Five Power Defence Arrangements.
“The Closer Economic Partnership agreement between New Zealand and Singapore is one of our most comprehensive, and we have built on this with the P4 agreement and our on-going collaboration towards the Trans Pacific Partnership.
“This visit provides an ideal opportunity to reaffirm New Zealand’s close and valued friendship with Singapore as we continue our cooperation in a number of key areas, particularly trade.
“I will also be expressing my gratitude to leaders of both countries, on behalf of New Zealand, for the support and assistance following last February’s Canterbury earthquake.”
Mr Key will arrive in Indonesia on Sunday April 15 and return from Singapore by RNZAF 757 on Thursday 19 April.