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Japan NZ Partnership Forum

(www.nzibf.co.nz)

16 November 2007

Japan NZ Partnership Forum To Convene In Tokyo May 2008

Planning is underway for the first ever Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum to be held in Tokyo on Friday 9 May 2008, the New Zealand International Business Forum said today.

International Business Forum Chair Graeme Harrison said the Partnership Forum would bring together around 60 leading figures from government, business and the wider community in both countries in an effort to strengthen the Japan New Zealand relationship.

“We have seen how successful these types of events have been for New Zealand’s relationships with Australia and the United States and we think it is time for a similar structure for Japan as the world’s second largest economy. Japan itself has similar high level dialogues with a range of other countries”.

Speaking in Tokyo to the 34th joint meeting of the Japan New Zealand Business Council Mr Harrison said that Japan and New Zealand were natural partners whose relationship could be further developed.

“Since 1962 Japan has consistently ranked as second or third largest trading partner. The question for us today is whether the relationship is as good as it can be and whether it delivers maximum value to both countries”.

Mr Harrison said that consultation with government agencies and business organisations had indicated strong support for the concept of a Partnership Forum.

“I am pleased to announce that Japan’s leading business organisation, the Keidanren, has offered the use of its conference centre in Tokyo, the Keidanren Kaikan, as venue for the event. This is a prestigious venue and fully reflects the high level nature of the discussions we intend to hold.”

The theme proposed for the Partnership Forum is “New Thinking, New Partnership”.

“The Forum will examine ways in which the two countries can work together to promote growth and sustainable development, to address the challenges of climate change and sustainability and to promote innovation in business practices and new technologies”.

Mr Harrison said the International Business Forum would work closely with government agencies and the Japan New Zealand Business Council in organising the Partnership Forum event.

A copy of Mr Harrison’s speech to the Business Council meeting is available upon request.

About the NZ International Business Forum The Forum is a business organisation which aims to generate wealth for New Zealanders by helping ensure that New Zealand enterprises are fully integrated and engaged in the global economy and New Zealand’s global competitive position is maximised.

To enable New Zealand business to exploit new opportunities in international markets, the Forum provides leadership, works with companies and other business organisations to implement key projects and articulates New Zealand’s international business priorities to both the New Zealand Government and stakeholders. NZIBF brings together business leaders from some of New Zealand’s largest internationally oriented companies together with the country’s principal business organisations.

Collectively, these business leaders from the dairy, meat, seafood, kiwifruit, software and services industries represent companies and sectors with a combined turnover in excess of $20 billion. The business organisations represent New Zealand’s export, manufacturing and services sectors. Launched in June 2007, NZIBF is the first time that business leaders of this calibre have come together with the sole focus of expanding New Zealand’s international business.

ENDS

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