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B2000: A New Zealand Embassy for Brazil

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

15 June 2000


A New Zealand Embassy for Brazil

New Zealand will open an Embassy in Brazil as a key component of its Latin American strategy to develop closer trading and political links with that important region, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

The new Embassy in Brasilia will open around October 2001 and will receive new funding of $1.075 million in this year's budget.

Mr Goff said that representation in the capital will give New Zealand businesses the best chance to increase their share in Brazil's total import market which is worth US$57 billion per annum.

"Brazil is the ninth largest economy in the world, and with 170 million people has the fifth largest population. It holds tremendous opportunities for enterprising New Zealanders and we need to be represented there.

"With Embassies in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile, New Zealand will be well placed to engage fully with this vibrant region.

"Brazil is also a powerful player in international affairs. The new Embassy will help us improve cooperation on major international issues like disarmament and environmental protection," Mr Goff said.

"Our two countries have a history of excellent cooperation at the United Nations, including sharing membership of the New Agenda Coalition on nuclear weapons which has been so successful in recent times. The Embassy will promote closer cooperation."

Mr Goff said that the government had also looked at other areas of overseas representation. The New Zealand Consulate-General in Osaka (Japan) will be closed and an Honorary Consul will be appointed to look after New Zealand's interests there.

"To maintain New Zealand's profile in the Osaka region, the embassy in Tokyo will have its capability strengthened. The New Zealand Tourism Board will continue to operate an Osaka office," Mr Goff concluded.


ENDS



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