Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will lead a trade mission to Singapore and Japan to support New Zealand’s economic rebuilding by reconnecting with two of its closest Indo-Pacific economic and security partners.
The Prime Minister will be joined by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and 13 business leaders.
“With a strongly positioned economy and a large delegation of New Zealand businesses on our side, our message abroad will be very clear – New Zealand is open for business,” said Jacinda Ardern.
“This first trade mission is part of our broader plan to reconnect with the world following the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening partnerships between government, business and industry will help accelerate our strong recovery. economic.
“This trade delegation will include impressive representatives from New Zealand’s dairy, food and beverage, technology, tourism and renewable energy sectors, with a focus on promoting sustainability and ‘innovation.
“I will highlight the reopening of New Zealand for tourism and education, as well as supporting our businesses as they rebuild and develop relationships with partners and customers in these two important markets.
“It’s been just over two years since COVID-19 hit the shores of New Zealand, prompting us to close borders to protect lives and livelihoods. Now we must continue to reconnect with the world and I look forward to supporting our businesses in various sectors, and seeing my political counterparts in person,” said Jacinda Ardern.
In Singapore, the Prime Minister will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and visit President Halimah Yacob. She will also address Singapore’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders at a gala dinner in New Zealand.
The Prime Minister will also; visit one of Singapore’s major ports to discuss ways to future-proof our supply chain, engage with aviation industry leaders to make aviation more sustainable, participate in a customary welcome ceremony, upon request of the Government of Singapore, and attend an unveiling of Kūwaha at Gardens by the Bay as a symbol of the strong cultural ties between the two countries.
In Japan, the Prime Minister will meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the first time to discuss global and regional challenges. She will also address the Japan-New Zealand Business Council, meet with high-level business and industry leaders, including in the clean energy and technology sectors.
The Prime Minister will also highlight Aotearoa New Zealand’s tourism and education sectors through events with Japanese media and education partners.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan.
Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor said unlocking opportunities in key markets is an important part of New Zealand’s trade recovery strategy as we reconnect with the world.
“Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, with our main exports including horticulture, dairy and meat. Our two-way trade totaled NZ$8.34 billion up to the financial year ending December 2021.
“Singapore is our fifth largest with a total of NZ$6.56 billion in bilateral trade over the same period. Singapore is an important dairy and tourism market and is also a key regional hub for New Zealand exports and imports.
“We will do all we can to help our New Zealand businesses and exporters gain wider access and deeper connections within these important markets,” said Damien O’Connor.
The Prime Minister and her accompanying delegation will travel on an NZDF Boeing 757 and depart New Zealand on April 18 and return on April 24.
(With contributions from the New Zealand government press release)