PM Jacinda Ardern to lead trade mission to Singapore, Japan

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The Prime Minister is leading a trade mission to Singapore and Japan with what she calls a clear message – ‘New Zealand is open for business’.

Jacinda Ardern.
Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The mission will aim to reconnect New Zealand with the countries, which are described as two of Aotearoa’s “closest Indo-Pacific economic and security partners” in a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

On her first international trip since the start of the pandemic, Jacinda Ardern, alongside Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and 13 business leaders, is traveling as part of the “wider plan of the government 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 economic recovery.”

In Singapore, Ardern will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and visit President Halimah Yacob. She will also address Singaporean entrepreneurs and business leaders at a gala dinner in New Zealand.

She will visit one of Singapore’s major ports to discuss ways to future-proof our supply chain and engage with aviation industry leaders to make aviation more sustainable, as well as cultural events.

In Japan, Ardern will meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the first time to discuss global and regional challenges.

She will address the Japan-New Zealand Business Council, meet with high-level business and industry leaders, including in the clean energy and technology sectors.

Another objective is to highlight the tourism and education sectors in New Zealand.

“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,” Ardern said.

“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 j ‘m looking forward to supporting our businesses in various sectors, and seeing my political counterparts in person.”

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor said Japan was New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, with two-way trade totaling NZ$8.34 billion for the year ending in 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 regional hub key to New Zealand exports and imports”.

The delegation will travel on an NZDF Boeing 757 and will depart New Zealand on April 18 and return on April 24.

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