The National-led Government is committed to building closer ties with the Asia region.
Asia is becoming increasingly important to New Zealand and hence it is vital that we continue to build on our already strong relationships through visits, trade, and other connections.
Last month I had a very successful visit to Korea, China, and Vietnam.
I met leaders to discuss trade, sign new cooperation agreements and strengthen the ties between our countries.
Trade is vital to New Zealand. It helps build a strong economy, which can provide financial security for our families, opportunities for our young people, and world-class public services.
In October, I will be holding a summit with ASEAN leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
This is the first time a New Zealand Prime Minister has held such a meeting.
The countries that make up the ASEAN group are collectively our third-largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth about $10 billion last year.
National is also committed to increasing trade with India and we are negotiating a free trade agreement with its Government.
India will be one of the region’s most significant partners for New Zealand.
Its economy is growing very quickly and presents many opportunities for us.
Our current trade with India is only $1 billion, compared to $10 billion with China.
Our Indian communities have an important role in building the relationship between our two countries with trade, business and other connections.
Free Trade Agreements open many doors and provide new opportunities.
In the two years since we signed our comprehensive FTA with China, that country has moved from being our fourth largest to the second-largest trading partner.
It is an exciting time to be part of the Asian region, and the National-led Government is determined to make the most of the opportunities there.
We achieved a lot during my recent visit to China, Korea and Vietnam, and we are working hard to build on our relationships through education, business and diplomatic channels.
You can see photos and videos from my recent trip at www.johnkey.co.nz.
Rt Hon John Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink. ©
Photo Caption: John Key with his daughter Stephie in China last month (Picture from the National Party)