8 Apr 2024

Christopher Luxon and business leaders to travel to South East Asia on trade, diplomatic mission

6:37 pm on 8 April 2024
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon speaking at post-cab

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon speaking at post-cab Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week, along with business leaders, in hopes of "building new connections" in trade and diplomacy.

Simon Watts, the minister of climate change and revenue, and National MP Paulo Garcia - New Zealand's first Filipino MP - will also go on the trip.

Luxon said the trip, which runs from 14-20 April, was a signal of the government's commitment to deepen Aotearoa's international engagement.

"South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to our prosperity and our security," he said.

"I look forward to meeting my counterparts and seeing firsthand what more we can do to deepen our relationships. I'm also pleased to be leading New Zealand businesses into the region.

"Building new connections and renewing relationships with partners and customers in these important markets is a priority."

The group will first visit Singapore - one of New Zealand's largest sources of foreign investment - followed by Thailand.

"As one of the world's top 25 economies, Thailand is an anchor for our interests in the region," Luxon said.

He hoped to advance the "significant trade and economic links" between Thailand and New Zealand, he said.

Lastly, Luxon would travel to the Philippines - the first dedicated visit from a prime minister in the past 14 years.

The Philippines was expected to be a top 20 global economy by 2050 and was one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, Luxon said.

Strengthening New Zealand's trade and business connections with the world was an important part of the government's plan to rebuild the economy, he said.

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