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Honorary Advisers to provide insights into NZ-Asia relations

Honorary Advisers to provide insights into NZ-Asia relations

The Asia New Zealand Foundation will host a group of influential Asian dignitaries next week as part of its efforts to strengthen understanding between New Zealand and Asia.

Six members of the Foundation’s network of honorary advisers will visit New Zealand on Monday 21 July and Tuesday 22 July. The advisers – who have distinguished business, diplomatic and political backgrounds – represent India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The group will meet Prime Minister John Key, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully – who is the chairman of the Honorary Advisers group - and Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce. They will also be briefed on the Asia New Zealand Foundation's activities, the “New Zealand Story”, and New Zealand’s changing demography.

Asia New Zealand Foundation chairman Philip Burdon says the advisers support the Foundation’s various activities in Asia, which include professional development for New Zealand teachers; artist exchanges; business and media internships; Track II (informal diplomacy) dialogues; and meetings of the Foundation’s Leadership Network.

“The Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the advisers have been invaluable since the beginning, both in the context of giving advice and for supporting New Zealand’s activities in Asia. They are very well-connected in their home countries and have warm affiliations with New Zealand.
“As New Zealand’s links to Asia deepen and diversify, it is important to have advocates in the region who are able to share their insights about their home countries and provide their viewpoints on New Zealand’s place in Asia.”
The honorary advisers visiting New Zealand are:
· INDIA: Dr Raghupati Singhania, chairman and managing director of JK Tyre & Industries Limited, pioneers of radial technology in India and leaders in the Indian tyre industry. Dr Singhania is a member of the one of India’s most prominent and highly regarded business families and has also been involved with leading government bodies in India.

· MALAYSIA: Tan Sri Leo Moggie, non-executive chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s main energy provider. Tan Sri Leo Moggie was a member of parliament of Malaysia from 1974 to 2004 and has held various ministerial posts. He graduated from the University of Otago in 1965 and was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Laws by the university in 2000.

· PHILIPPINES: Mr Roberto Romulo, former Foreign Minister and current chairman of AIG Philippines Insurance. Mr Romulo is also chairman or board member of several other corporations and chairman of numerous non-profit foundations. He was recently named patron of New Zealand Alumni Association of the Philippines.

SINGAPORE: Mr Stanley Tan (ONZM), CEO and executive director, Global Yellow Pages. Mr Tan is also active in Singapore’s non-profit sector, including as president of Beyond Social Services and chairman of Opportunity International.
THAILAND: Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 2005 to 2013, and former Deputy Prime Minister and executive director of the WTO.
VIETNAM: Madame Ton Nu Thi Ninh, director of the Tri Viet Center for Social and Educational Research in Thailand. Madame Ninh served Vietnam as a diplomat for more than two decades, specialising in multilateral institutions (including the United Nations and ASEAN) and global issues.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation’s honorary advisers from China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea are unable to travel to New Zealand because of commitments in their home countries. They will be represented by the Wellington-based ambassadors for their countries.
The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to building New Zealand’s links with Asia through a range of programmes, including business, culture, education, media, research and a Leadership Network. The Foundation is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.


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