Trade and Agriculture Minister to visit USA to deepen bilateral and regional cooperation

  • Hon Damien O'Connor

Minister for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor will visit the USA this week to help further New Zealand’s economic recovery through cooperation efforts with a range of US and Indo-Pacific partners.

“My focus is on export growth so we can ensure New Zealand is best protected from the rough edges of a global downturn. We’re continuing to work in partnership with our businesses to take full advantage of our open borders,” Damien O’Connor said.

In Los Angeles, Damien O’Connor will represent New Zealand at a ministerial meeting on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). IPEF is a regional cooperation initiative, developed by the United States and now involving 14 economies throughout the Indo-Pacific region, including New Zealand.

“New Zealand has been actively engaged on the IPEF since its inception last year. I am looking forward to meeting face to face with my ministerial counterparts from other IPEF economies and taking stock of how the scope of the Framework is shaping up,” Damien O’Connor said.

“IPEF presents a unique opportunity to boost regional cooperation on a range of future-focused economic, trade and climate issues. At the ministerial meeting in Los Angeles, I will be seeking to ensure that the scope of IPEF contains meaningful commercial elements, drives global climate action, and has a focus on sustainability and inclusivity which is at the heart of New Zealand’s trade policy.”

While in Los Angeles, he will also hold bilateral meetings with ministerial counterparts from other IPEF economies.

In San Francisco, the focus will be on growing New Zealand’s relationship with California and supporting sustainable agriculture connections.

This will build on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Minister O’Connor’s visit to California in May this year, where the Prime Minister and Governor Newsom witnessed the signing of a new climate partnership.

“We have an exciting partnership with California on shared economic, agriculture and climate ambitions. I’m looking forward to meeting with California Agricultural Secretary Karen Ross and visiting innovative companies and the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,” Damien O’Connor said.

“California is a world leader in technology and has some of the world’s most ambitious climate goals. By growing our partnership with California we will create new opportunities for New Zealand businesses and improve our access to new technologies that will make the New Zealand economy more competitive and sustainable.”

Damien O’Connor will depart New Zealand on Tuesday 6 September. He will be in San Francisco on 6-7 September and Los Angeles on 7-9 September, returning to New Zealand on Sunday 11 September.

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