NZ inc Approach To Be Applied Globally

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

"Agencies must work to continue to promote the "New Zealand Inc" approach offshore," Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rt Hon Don McKinnon, said today.

Mr McKinnon is Chair of the External Relations Ministerial Team announced by the Prime Minister in June.

"APEC was a great example of what can be achieved with clear goals and good coordination," Mr McKinnon said.

"It was a team effort. It involved many government agencies, local authorities, Maoridom and the private sector. It was done within a limited budget. Yet we achieved excellent results".

Mr McKinnon pointed out that the immigration, education, investment and tourism-related initiatives announced today by Dr Smith did not involve additional resources.

"We do not have the luxury of throwing resources at every issue. We have to be smart about using our assets and capabilities. We have to set priorities and share information. We have to coordinate well".

Mr McKinnon said the External Relations Team was applying the same "New Zealand Inc" approach to the external sector that other teams had applied domestically.

Mr McKinnon said the External Relations Team would also have an important role in shaping New Zealand's response to the big issues facing the country in the period ahead.

"East Timor is generating some important wider issues for countries in the region, including New Zealand."

"The new round of WTO negotiations being launched in Seattle in November will present us with some major opportunities and challenges."

"In the meantime we have set ourselves some ambitious new goals with our work on free trade agreements."

"Ensuring that we capitalise on economic recovery in Asia is a key goal. This means maximising New Zealand's appeal as a destination for investors, tourists, migrants and students as well as boosting exports. We want to have a fresh look at our overall strategy for Asia and other key regions."

Ensuring that external linkages are fully integrated into economic strategy remained essential, Mr McKinnon said. Globalisation of world commerce and the pace and impact of the information revolution made this doubly important, he added.

"In light of recent events we are also seeing renewed interest in the contribution defence capabilities make to our wider external goals and commitments."

Mr McKinnon said the team had decided to proceed with the development of a new strategic framework covering the full range of New Zealand's external interests.

"We face some large cross-cutting issues in the external sector. The framework will help ensure that the strategies for responding to them are forward-looking and strongly linked to domestic strategies."

Contact: Jo Coughlan 04 471 9811, 025 405 082, 04 473 3823

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