INDEPENDENT NEWS

Re-engaging With The World

Published: Thu 7 Mar 2024 01:27 PM
The Coalition Government has used its first 100 Days rejuvenating New Zealand’s connections with the world, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.
“New Zealand is a country whose prosperity and security rely upon the quality of our international relationships. We have therefore spent our government’s first 100 Days re-engaging with the world to get those relationships back on track,” Mr Peters says.
Until the end of the first 100 Days, Mr Peters has undertaken 86 engagements with representatives of 53 countries, territories, and international organisations. The countries with which the Minister has engaged encompass 66 per cent of the world’s population (5.26 billion people); 86 per cent of New Zealand’s two-way trade (NZ$177 billion); and 82 per cent of global GDP (NZ$131 trillion).
“My engagements, in addition to high-level diplomacy by the Prime Minister, Defence & Trade Ministers, have constituted a serious investment of time and effort during our first 100 Days in office.
“The programme of re-engagement, important in its own right, was also a response to the inaction of the Coalition Government’s predecessor,” Mr Peters says.
“Regrettably, we learned when entering office that New Zealand foreign policy under our predecessors had been characterised by disengagement, lethargy and indecision. This unfortunately harmed how New Zealand was perceived internationally, including by our closest partners. We have been working overtime to repair this damage, which compounded the effects of COVID-19 on New Zealand’s international connectiveness.”
Mr Peters says the Government’s intense programme of foreign engagements would continue, with an increased focus on the Indo-Pacific (spanning from South Asia to the Pacific Islands), and our traditional partners.
“The continued growth in importance of the Indo-Pacific to New Zealand’s future prosperity and security is why we will be seeking to undertake high-level visits to all our major Asian and Pacific partners, as well as our traditional security and economic partners, during our first year in office.”
The Foreign Minister – following visits so far this term to Fiji, Australia, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands – will travel to India, Indonesia and Singapore next week (10-16 March).

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