Prime Minister to travel to Europe and Australia

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events.

“This is the third leg of our reconnecting plan as we continue to promote Aotearoa New Zealand’s trade and tourism interests. We’re letting the world know we are open for business, study, trade and travel once again,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“International links are vital for New Zealand’s economic recovery from the global Covid pandemic. While virtual diplomacy has served us well, I am pleased to be able to undertake face to face meetings to profile New Zealand as a close, likeminded partner that is open for business, and actively reconnecting with our European partners.

“While this trip has been long planned, it coincides with the NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The Prime Minister will attend a session of the NATO Summit along with leaders from Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea. She will also hold bilateral meetings with a range of foreign leaders.

“The NATO meeting represents an opportunity to engage with a large number of leaders on a wide range of issues over and above security and defence,” Jacinda Ardern said.

In Brussels, where she will be accompanied by Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor, meetings will be held with European Union leaders with a focus on progressing the EU Free Trade Agreement and the opportunities it will bring for New Zealand businesses and exporters.

In London, a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will help cement the close links between the two countries, especially for business and exporters since the signing of the New Zealand-UK FTA earlier this year.

New Zealand business representatives will join the Prime Minister and Minister O’Connor for some programme elements in Brussels and London.

The Prime Minister will leave New Zealand on Sunday 26 June. On 2 July, at the conclusion of the five day Europe programme, she will travel to Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) between 4 and 8 July where she will be accompanied by a number of other ministers and a large business delegation.

“The forum has been delayed for a couple of years due to Covid and marks another important step in our reconnecting plan,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Australia is our largest market for tourists and second largest for exports. It is the most significant market for our small and medium sized businesses looking to grow their offerings. And so in Melbourne and Sydney I will be helping to promote a number of trade and tourism opportunities.

“Our borders being open once again, and of course the removal of pre departure testing from midnight tonight, creates real opportunities for our recovery, which will be a focus of the trip,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Further details on Australia will be provided closer to the time.

Editor’s Note:

  • The United Kingdom is a high value market for New Zealand and prior to Covid 19 the UK was the fourth largest international visitor market, comprising 6% of total arrivals. We welcomed 230,000 UK visitor arrivals in 2019, contributing over NZD$539 million in visitor spend, with the average holiday spend being NZD $5,596.
  • Traditionally there has always been strong demand for travel to New Zealand from the UK. In 2019, the main reason for Britons to visit New Zealand was: holiday (44%), visiting friends or relatives (48%), business (6%), education (1%), conferences (1%).
  • New Zealand’s trade with the European Union is around NZD$17.5 billion in two-way goods and services trade. Prior to COVID-19, New Zealand’s exports to the EU were around NZD$6.1 billion (2018). In 2021, New Zealand exports totalled around NZD$4.6 billion. The EU is our fourth-largest trading partner, with significant potential for growth in a market of close to 450 million people.
  • New Zealand exports to the UK totalled NZD$2 billion in 2021; it was more than NZD$3.1 billion immediately pre-COVID. The UK was New Zealand’s seventh-largest trading partner pre-COVID.

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