16 November, 2012
Minister welcomes NZ’s first ASEAN Festival
Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins says tomorrow’s inaugural Association of South East Asian Nations Festival is a welcome addition to New Zealand’s cultural calendar.
“The ASEAN Festival gives us great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the significant contribution our Southeast Asian neighbours make to our nation,” Ms Collins says.
The ASEAN region is New Zealand’s fourth largest export market, with two-way trade in goods worth about $11 billion in 2011. ASEAN represents a market of more than 620 million people, with a combined GDP of US$3 trillion.
Ms Collins says the region is also a gateway to China and India; two of New Zealand’s most important trading partners.
“The ASEAN region presents great opportunities for New Zealand. We must continue to draw from the cultural expertise and international connections of our 45,000 strong ASEAN communities to make the most of this potential.”
The Festival’s six-hour cultural programme will start at 1.30pm tomorrow at Auckland’s Logan Campbell Centre, ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane.