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Asia 2000 welcomes Ministerial Task Force on Asia

Media Release

10 May 2004

Asia 2000 welcomes Ministerial Task Force on Asia

Sir Dryden Spring, Chair of Asia 2000, has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it has established a Ministerial Task Force on Relations with Asia.

The government’s announcement follows a wave of recent activity in New Zealand relationships with Asia. It has included steps to improve the regional trading environment, exchanges of high level visits, and initiatives to better engage New Zealand’s Asian communities of students and migrants.

The idea of a task force first arose at the “Seriously Asia” conference organised by Asia 2000 in November last year. The project aimed to identify priority goals and practical actions to energise New Zealand’s links with Asia.

“I am delighted that the government has decided to go ahead with the task force”, Sir Dryden said. “If New Zealand is serious about economic growth it has to be serious about Asia, and the task force demonstrates a strong New Zealand commitment.”

A key conclusion of “Seriously Asia” was that, as a small country, New Zealand needed to ensure more effective coordination of government agencies and better cooperation with non-governmental institutions and groups.

“Asia’s dynamic market and societies can help unlock New Zealand’s wealth potential and bring greater prosperity to all New Zealanders”, Sir Dryden said. “We must work hard to build the positive relationships which will make that a reality”.

Ends

Note to Editors:

Background papers and summary outcomes of the “Seriously Asia” project and conference are available online www.seriouslyasia.org.nz . A final report on the project, including a summary account of the November conference, will be available shortly from the Communications Manager, Asia 2000 Foundation, PO Box 10 144, Wellington.

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