Monday, April 22, 2024

First 100 Days a win for world reconnection says Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister, Winston Peters says the Coalition Government has used its first 100 Days rejuvenating New Zealand’s connections with the world.

“New Zealand is a country whose prosperity and security rely upon the quality of our international relationships. We have therefore spent our government’s first 100 Days re-engaging with the world to get those relationships back on track,” said Mr Peters.

Minister Peters has undertaken 86 engagements with representatives of 53 countries, territories, and international organisations in the Government’s first 100 Days. The countries with which the Minister has engaged encompass 66% of the world’s population (5.26 billion people); 86% of New Zealand’s two-way trade (NZ$177 billion); and 82% of global GDP (NZ$131 trillion), the Government said in a statement today.

“My engagements, in addition to high-level diplomacy by the Prime Minister, Defence & Trade Ministers, have constituted a serious investment of time and effort during our first 100 Days in office,” said Mr Peters.

“The programme of re-engagement, important in its own right, was also a response to the inaction of the Coalition Government’s predecessor.

“Regrettably, we learned when entering office that New Zealand foreign policy under our predecessors had been characterised by disengagement, lethargy and indecision. This unfortunately harmed how New Zealand was perceived internationally, including by our closest partners. We have been working overtime to repair this damage, which compounded the effects of COVID-19 on New Zealand’s international connectiveness.”

Mr Peters says the Government’s intense programme of foreign engagements would continue, with an increased focus on the Indo-Pacific (spanning from South Asia to the Pacific Islands), and our traditional partners.

“The continued growth in importance of the Indo-Pacific to New Zealand’s future prosperity and security is why we will be seeking to undertake high-level visits to all our major Asian and Pacific partners, as well as our traditional security and economic partners, during our first year in office.”

The Foreign Minister – following visits so far this term to Fiji, Australia, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands – will travel to India, Indonesia and Singapore next week (10-16 March).

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