11 November, 2013
PM attends CHOGM, leads SE Asia Trade Mission
Prime Minister John Key will travel to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting later this week, and then lead a business delegation to Thailand.
“New Zealand is an active member of the Commonwealth and a strong supporter of the values that bind the 53 member states,” says Mr Key.
“The Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting determines the Commonwealth’s activities and direction for the coming years, and is an opportunity to meet with leaders from countries that share a similar heritage.
“New Zealand is committed to strengthening the role the Commonwealth plays in international affairs as well as pushing for reforms that will make the organisation more focused and effective.”
Following the meeting in Colombo the Prime Minister will join a business delegation and lead a mission to promote New Zealand companies in Thailand.
“New Zealand has a lot to offer Thailand and a number of our businesses already have a strong presence in this market. However, there is more we can do, and my visit is aimed at opening doors and helping to profile New Zealand companies in Bangkok.
“I am looking forward to once again meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck in Thailand. Her country is an important partner for New Zealand in areas ranging from disaster risk management and scientific cooperation to trade and tourism development,” says Mr Key.
The Prime Minister and business delegation had been planning to travel on to Manila for two days, but senior officials in New Zealand and the Philippines are currently discussing the proposed visit in light of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
“I would like to offer President Aquino and the people of the Philippines New Zealand’s heartfelt condolences at the tragic loss of life, and to reinforce we remain committed to helping wherever we can.”
Today Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced a further contribution of $2 million to help relief efforts in the Philippines, which is additional to $150,000 announced over the weekend.
“I intend to call President Aquino and convey New Zealand’s condolences personally when he is able to take my call,” says Mr Key.
Prime Minister Key departs for Colombo on 15 November and returns to New Zealand on 22 November.