Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be promoting free trade agreements with the UK and EU and the Government’s wellbeing agenda to global leaders when she heads to London, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and Brussels next week.
The primary purpose of the visit is to progress a free trade agreement with Europe and to promote New Zealand business interests.
The trip also provides the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom, where Jacinda Ardern is scheduled to meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May and reconfirm the understanding that New Zealand will be left no worse off, including in respect of its trade interests, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
“My visit to the UK is an opportunity to underline New Zealand’s position as a natural and long standing partner for the country as it redefines its global role post-Brexit,” Jacinda Ardern said.
In Brussels Jacinda Ardern will have meetings with President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“I will be using my engagements to enhance New Zealand’s profile as a likeminded partner to the EU across a wide range of issues, including climate change, social policy, trade and our commitment to the rules-based system,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“There is still much progress to make in trade talks with our European partners, so a key focus of this whole trip is to speak to European Commission and individual country leaders to shore up support for our ongoing negotiations and ensure New Zealand exporters achieve a great deal.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos the Prime Minister will be promoting the Government’s approach to inclusive growth through the Wellbeing Agenda, and the delivery of the world’s first wellbeing budget in May this year.
She will be participating in a range of panel discussions at Davos including one focused on wellbeing and options beyond GDP with the head of the OECD, the future of the international trading system with the head of the WTO and a panel focused on mental health with His Royal Highness Prince William.
“Our wellbeing approach is generating significant international interest, particularly at a time when the international rules based order is under strain and leaders are grappling with constituencies dissatisfied with the status quo.
“I hope other leaders will come to see more compassionate domestic policy settings as a compelling alternative to the false promise of protectionism and isolation.
“I will be using the opportunity in Davos to hold a number of bilateral meetings with leaders to promote trade and other matters. I am also looking forward to meeting again with Prince William,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Prime Minister will be in London on 20-21 January, Davos from 22-23 January, and Brussels on 24-25 January. She will be joined, in Davos, by Finance Minister Grant Robertson.