Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to the Philippines this weekend to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila.
“The ADB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to engage with other ADB member countries, including those in the Pacific and South East Asia, on key issues such as promoting economic recovery, climate change and financing development in Asia and the Pacific,” Aupito William Sio said.
“Despite a challenging global environment, the New Zealand economy is in a strong position to support our people and take advantage of the opportunities available from our strong Covid response.
“There is huge demand overseas for our high quality exports, and we have a strong brand that attracts people and investment. The ADB meeting is an opportunity to show the world Aotearoa is open for business.”
This week also marks the first in-person meeting of the ADB Board of Governors since 2019.
“The ADB is critically important to Aotearoa New Zealand and a vital source of development finance, technical assistance and policy advice to the Pacific. It’s important New Zealand provides solidarity to the Pacific voice around the ADB table.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to promote Aotearoa New Zealand values, and support multilateralism during the ADB Annual Meeting. Advocating for sustainable governance and strengthening resilience in the Pacific are top priorities,” Aupito William Sio said.
While in Manila, Minister Sio will also undertake a number of bilateral engagements aimed at strengthening links with the Philippines.
“This is the first time a New Zealand minister has travelled to the Philippines since 2017 so it is a valuable opportunity to meet people face to face and build a relationship with the new Philippines’ administration.
“The Philippines is a founding member of ASEAN and an important voice in the Indo-Pacific region. We share strong trade ties and cooperate on a range of bilateral and regional initiatives.
“Aotearoa has strong people to people links with the Philippines, with a 80,000 diaspora population who will appreciate New Zealand strengthening relationships with their motherland.
“As we reconnect with the world, I look forward to reinvigorating these links and promoting our whanaungatanga with the Philippines,” Aupito William Sio said.
Minister Sio departs New Zealand on Sunday and will return on 1 October.