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New Alignment for NZ US Council And NZIBF

21 March 2014

Media Release

New Alignment for NZ US Council And NZIBF

The New Zealand United States Council and New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) have moved to strengthen their cooperation to maximise their impact.

Both organisations have an interest in the strongest possible relationship between New Zealand and the United States, NZ US Council Chairman Rt Hon James Bolger and NZIBF Chairman Sir Graeme Harrison said today.

“The United States is a vital relationship for New Zealand from all points of view - politically, economically, culturally and environmentally. The relationship is stronger now than at any other time, thanks in part to the role played by the NZ US Council and US NZ Partnership Forum in recent years. Complex relationships require continuous attention – we have to keep working on it and the NZ US Council will continue to play a very important role in this regard,” Mr Bolger said.

The NZ US Council will continue to expand its programme in support of the relationship. NZIBF will lend its support of the NZ US Council through funding and appointment of some of the Council’s directors.
NZIBF will also step up its advocacy of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on behalf of business as part of its core mandate of working to expand New Zealand’s international business opportunities.

“The big picture is that TPP is a pathway to wider trade and economic liberalisation in the Asia Pacific region. There are currently 12 economies involved in the TPP negotiations and others in the wings. As TPP draws to a close it is important that we encourage all negotiating partners to ensure we achieve the high quality agreement the leaders signed up to in Honolulu,” said Sir Graeme.

As part of the changes announced today NZ US Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi will step down from his role at the Council on 31 March but will continue as Executive Director of NZIBF.

“Stephen has made an enormous contribution to the NZ US relationship in the period since his appointment in late 2005.” Mr Bolger said. “We are glad that, as one of our foremost proponents of international trade, Stephen’s services will continue to be well utilised by NZIBF.”

A new Executive Director for NZ US Council will be appointed shortly. In the meantime the current Associate Director, Suse Reynolds, will fulfil the role of Acting Executive Director until an announcement is made.


About the NZ US Council –
The NZ US Council is a non-partisan body funded by both business and the Government to promote New Zealand’s broader relationship with the United States. Two-way trade with the US is valued at over $8 billion and the United States is a leading source of investment, innovation and business ideas.

About NZIBF -
NZIBF 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. NZIBF participants represent companies and sectors with a turnover of over $20 billion.

About the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) –
TPP is negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam. The economies of APEC account for over 70 per cent of New Zealand’s total merchandise trade. Trade with APEC economies has been growing at an average of 4.5 per cent per annum over the last 20 years.

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