Trade Minister David Parker says it's vital to pursue talks with the United Kingdom as potential trading partners eye up a deal post-Brexit.
Parker heads to London today to meet with his British counterpart, UK Secretary for Trade Liz Truss, where he says he will pursue an ambitious agreement as early as possible following the UK's exit from the European Union.
Parker says the UK is confident it can do a deal with the European Union in the 12-month timeline it's been given and New Zealand needs to be ready to negotiate as well.
He said New Zealand, Australia and the United States were at the top of the list to complete negotiations with first.
"The UK is one of New Zealand's closest friends and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this new chapter in our relationship at such an important point in the UK's history," he said.
Parker will also attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
While there he will participate as a panellist on Trade, Environment and Global Value chains and also hold bilateral meetings with trade counterparts.
He will also attend a Swiss-hosted WTO mini-ministerial, a Cairns Group meeting of nations advocating for greater agricultural trade liberalisation, and a Canada-hosted Ottawa Group session on WTO reform.
"These engagements are critical as WTO members prepare for the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan in June,'' Parker said.
"We need to promote New Zealand's position on fisheries and fossil fuel subsidies, the appellate body impasse, agriculture and efforts to promote a more inclusive and sustainable trade agenda.
"With the effectiveness of the WTO under threat, we must ensure the multilateral trading system is revitalised and can continue to effectively underpin global growth, helping to create jobs and alleviate poverty."