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Budget 2008 will help New Zealand strengthen its key relationships in Asia and in the Pacific by investing in the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.
The Pacific Cooperation Foundation gains a total of $5.5 million in baseline funding over four years, while the Asia New Zealand Foundation will receive $2.5 million for outreach initiatives in 2008/2009.
“These two organisations play a valuable role in fostering understanding and links between New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific, and we stand to benefit considerably from their work,” Mr Peters said.
“Increased funding for the Pacific Cooperation Foundation will ensure it is better resourced to contribute to efforts to improve New Zealand relations with the Pacific, and to enhance New Zealanders’ appreciation of Pacific issues.
“Asia’s importance to our regional security and prosperity is also recognised, especially at a time when our interests are more closely linked than ever before.
“Extra funding will assist the Asia New Zealand Foundation to achieve greater strategic connectedness between business, culture, education, research and media organisations in our two regions,” Mr Peters said.