Today I announced our new Cabinet and Ministry. This is a team that combines fresh talent and proven experience to deliver a brighter future for all New Zealanders.
Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key was today elected Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU) at its latest meeting in Seoul, Korea.
Mr Key was represented at the meeting by Hon Hekia Parata who was able to accept the role on his behalf, and thank the retiring Chairman, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard who had held the role for 12 years.
"The National Party was a founding member of the IDU back in 1983 and the organisation has grown to comprise over 50 centre-right political parties from right around the world,” said Mr Key.
"Many of the member parties face the same political and policy challenges, and the IDU has real potential to become an even better forum for the exchange of views on political and other matters.
“Taking on this role provides another forum for New Zealand to play a constructive role in international affairs.”
Mr Key said that he had been encouraged to take up the role by John Howard and British Prime Minister David Cameron, and he was pleased to receive unanimous support at the meeting in Seoul.
As Chairman of the IDU, Mr Key will chair bi-annual meetings of the Executive Committee, which will be scheduled to coincide with existing travel commitments to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Mr Key will also be assisted in this role by the newly appointed Deputy Chairman, Tony Clement MP who is a member of Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s Cabinet.
More information on the IDU can be found on its website www.idu.orgTweet
Prime Minister John Key held successful talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wellington today.
“This is President Xi’s third official visit to New Zealand, but his first as President, so it’s a very significant occasion. I’m delighted that the First Lady, Madame Peng, has also joined him on this trip,” says Mr Key.
“Our relationship with China has never been in better shape. China is now New Zealand’s largest trading partner and we have strong links in a number of areas including business, tourism and education.
“Today we have agreed to characterise the relationship between our nations as a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, recognising the significance of the bilateral relationship to both countries.”
Ten new agreements and arrangements between New Zealand and China have been signed, including an amendment to the Free Trade Agreement that will enable a television co-production arrangement.
“These agreements, in a range of areas, are a further reflection of the growing depth of New Zealand and China’s strong relationship,” says Mr Key.
“The Television Co-production Agreement will allow programmes co-produced by New Zealand and Chinese companies to be officially broadcast on Chinese TV, where potential viewing audiences are huge.
“China has become our fastest-growing, and second-largest, source of visitors and to recognise that today we have announced a new initiative to extend the China Working Holiday Scheme, which will enable Chinese Working Holiday makers to work for the same employer for up to six months.”
Other initiatives signed today include:
“I am delighted to host President Xi and Madame Peng in New Zealand and I hope they enjoy the rest of their time here.”
Prime Minister John Key today announced that New Zealand and the
Republic of Korea have completed Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
“Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination for goods and services and eighth largest import source of goods and services, with total two-way trade of $4 billion in the year ending June 2014,” says Mr Key.
“The FTA will put New Zealand exporters back on a level playing field with competitors from Korea’s other FTA partners, such as the United States, Chile and the European Union.
“At the moment our exporters to Korea pay $229 million a year in duties. Under the FTA, New Zealand exporters will save an estimated $65 million in duties in the first year alone.
“In July 2013 when President Park and I met at the Korea-New Zealand Summit, we committed to concluding the FTA. It is very pleasing that this has now been achieved.
“New Zealand and Korea have a long history of working together, dating back to the Korean War. The FTA will enhance our already strong relationship and will set the scene for an even closer relationship in the future,” says Mr Key.
Now that the negotiations have been concluded, the FTA will next go through a legal verification and translation process, before it can be signed.
In our meeting today in Auckland we reaffirmed the close and long-standing relations between our two countries, building on the 60 years of diplomatic relations which we celebrated just last year.
Our partnership is defined by shared fundamental values, vibrant political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation, as well as very strong people-to-people links.
We took stock of the excellent state of play of our bilateral relationship and the value we accord to our close cooperation in a range of international fora.
Prime Minister John Key is attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit as an invited guest and will travel to Brisbane tomorrow.
“It’s an honour to have been invited as a guest of Australia and I’m proud New Zealand will be represented alongside the G20 nations,” says Mr Key
Finance Minister Bill English has also been invited to participate and will attend the B20 summit involving Finance Ministers from the G20 nations.
“This year’s G20 will cover a range of global economic issues, notably strengthening growth and job creation and building global economic resilience. These themes fit New Zealand’s own economic priorities.”
The G20 economies make up 85 percent of global economic activity and 75 percent of global trade. Fourteen of New Zealand’s top 20 bilateral trading partners are at the G20 meeting.
“New Zealand’s economic prospects are closely intertwined with those of G20 member countries,” says Mr Key.
New Zealand is not a formal member of the G20 grouping because of its size but has been involved in a full year of engagements culminating in the forthcoming final meeting as an invited guest of Australia.
“I intend to use my participation in the Leaders’ Summit to get a sense of global leaders’ economic concerns and how they are responding to these challenges,” says Mr Key.
The Summit also provides an opportunity to promote New Zealand’s economic policy credentials and raise our profile as a good place to do trade and do business.
“As well as attending all the main leaders’ events, I look forward to engaging bilaterally with counterparts from the G20 and supporting Prime Minister Abbott in delivering a successful G20 presidency,” says Mr Key.
The Prime Minister departs for Brisbane on Saturday 15 November and returns 16 November.
Note: The G20 grouping includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Union.Tweet