Thursday, June 13, 2024

PM to attend NATO leaders’ summit

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern will this weekend depart for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events in Australia and Europe.

“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,” Ms 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.”

The Prime Minister’s travel coincides with the NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid.

She will attend a session of the NATO Summit along with leaders from Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea and 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,” the Prime Minister 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.

At the conclusion of the five day Europe programme, Ms Ardern 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,” she 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,” Ms Ardern said.

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