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Korean Visit Strengthens Ties

Minister for Ethnic Affairs Hon. George Hawkins has welcomed members of a Korean Delegation to the New Zealand Parliament.

"This visit of Korean dignitaries to New Zealand will enhance this vital and growing association between New Zealand and Korea," George Hawkins said.

"Our countries have an association on many fronts: defence, business, education, science, forestry and through international forums like APEC. And many Koreans have come to New Zealand as students, tourists and migrants.

"The people of Korea who have settled here are making a sound and progressive contribution to New Zealand, to our communities, economy and culture," George Hawkins said.

Currently, there is much work going on in New Zealand within the Korean community. Inter country relationships are being promoted, especially with People-to-people ties, sister city arrangements and Korean language studies.

"Also, many young New Zealanders are going to Korea to work. Many go to Korea as teachers of English. And a new Working Holiday Scheme will help our young people to get to know each other better," George Hawkins said.

"And here in New Zealand, we are keen to have more Korean tourists visit New Zealand to experience our hospitality."

Korea has made a rapid and strong recovery from the Asian economic crisis of 1997, and Korea is now an important export market for New Zealand. Korea’s imports to New Zealand have also grown significantly over the last year.

George Hawkins said: "I know that officials from both our governments are having regular discussions on economic, foreign policy and security issues, and that our two parliaments have agreed on regular exchanges.

"This is an excellent way of creating better understanding and dialogue between decision-makers in New Zealand and Korea."

ENDS

Contact: Selwyn Manning – Press Secretary - Ph: 025 270 9131 or 04 471 9795

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