Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern will lead a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19.
The Prime Minister departs this evening and will be accompanied by Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor and business leaders from technology and tourism firms as well as innovative food companies, Silver Fern Farms, Fonterra and Zespri.
“New Zealand’s relationship with the United States is one of our most enduring and significant. This mission will feature political and security engagement as well as tourism and trade promotion,” Ms Ardern said.
“A big focus of the trip will be supporting business linkages and technology partnerships with US innovators that have the potential to accelerate New Zealand’s sustainable economic recovery.
Two-way goods and service trade with the US was valued at NZ$18.5 billion last year.
“The United States is our third largest trading partner and is our largest market for services. US firms are planning multi-billion dollar investments in cloud computing capability in New Zealand which will unlock big growth opportunities for digital exports to the world and we want to see more of that.”
The Prime Minister said New Zealand had seen positive growth in its exports to the United States, with an emphasis on high value products, such as digital services.
“The United States is a sophisticated market where New Zealand’s clean, green and sustainable brand attracts a premium, both for our food and beverage products, but also our technology and innovation services.”
Tourists from the US comprised 10% of total arrivals in New Zealand pre-pandemic.
“The US was our third largest tourist market for arrivals pre COVID-19, and with travellers planning their visits months before coming in the New Zealand summer now is the right time to be visible in the US market letting American’s know we are open for business and travel.
“The United States relationship is fundamental to us in political and security terms too. In a world of increasing challenges, we need to work closely with friends who share our values, so this is an important trip to be making right now,” Ms Ardern said.
The Prime Minister will visit New York, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.
In New York, she will call on the United Nations Secretary General and meet with travel editors, investors and attend a launch event for sustainable meat exports.
In Washington, the Prime Minister will meet senior members of the Senate.
In Boston, she will attend the commencement address at the 371st Harvard Commencement ceremony.
In San Francisco, the Prime Minister will meet the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom.
“California is world leader in green technology. This technology will be essential to New Zealand’s ability to meet our carbon emissions reduction targets. My meeting with Governor Newsom will be an opportunity to discuss ways in which we can work closely together on combating climate change,” said Ms Ardern.
The Prime Minister will also meet top technology executives from Twitter, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to discuss investment, skills development for New Zealanders in the tech industries, digital cooperation and to further Christchurch Call objectives.