PM Jacinda Ardern to travel to Europe and Australia

“The NATO meeting represents an opportunity to engage with a large number of leaders on a wide range of issues over and above security and defence,” Jacinda Ardern said.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Wellington | Updated: 20-06-2022 10:49 IST | Created: 20-06-2022 10:49 IST
PM Jacinda Ardern to travel to Europe and Australia
New Zealand Jacinda Ardern PM reshuffles cabinet (File Image) Image Credit: ANI
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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events.

"This is the third leg of our reconnecting plan as we continue to promote Aotearoa New Zealand's trade and tourism interests. We're letting the world know we are open for business, study, trade and travel once again," Jacinda Ardern said.

"International links are vital for New Zealand's economic recovery from the global Covid pandemic. While virtual diplomacy has served us well, I am pleased to be able to undertake face to face meetings to profile New Zealand as a close, likeminded partner that is open for business, and actively reconnecting with our European partners.

"While this trip has been long planned, it coincides with the NATO leaders' summit in Madrid," Jacinda Ardern said.

The Prime Minister will attend a session of the NATO Summit along with leaders from Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea. She will also hold bilateral meetings with a range of foreign leaders.

"The NATO meeting represents an opportunity to engage with a large number of leaders on a wide range of issues over and above security and defence," Jacinda Ardern said.

In Brussels, where she will be accompanied by Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O'Connor, meetings will be held with European Union leaders with a focus on progressing the EU Free Trade Agreement and the opportunities it will bring for New Zealand businesses and exporters.

In London, a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will help cement the close links between the two countries, especially for business and exporters since the signing of the New Zealand-UK FTA earlier this year.

New Zealand business representatives will join the Prime Minister and Minister O'Connor for some programme elements in Brussels and London.

The Prime Minister will leave New Zealand on Sunday 26 June. On 2 July, at the conclusion of the five-day Europe programme, she will travel to Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) between 4 and 8 July where she will be accompanied by a number of other ministers and a large business delegation.

"The forum has been delayed for a couple of years due to Covid and marks another important step in our reconnecting plan," Jacinda Ardern said.

"Australia is our largest market for tourists and second largest for exports. It is the most significant market for our small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow their offerings. And so in Melbourne and Sydney I will be helping to promote a number of trade and tourism opportunities.

"Our borders being open once again, and of course the removal of pre departure testing from midnight tonight, creates real opportunities for our recovery, which will be a focus of the trip," Jacinda Ardern said.

Further details on Australia will be provided closer to the time.

(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)

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