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Hodgson Abroad For Climate Change, Economic Visits

Minister Pete Hodgson departs New Zealand on Friday for the World Conference on Climate Change in the Netherlands, followed by meetings on high-tech investment in Israel and the United States.

The climate change conference at The Hague is expected to finalise agreement on the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is the most important climate change conference since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997. More than 175 countries which ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be represented.

Mr Hodgson joins other countries' ministers for the second week of the conference, in which decisions requiring political leadership must be made.

Following the Hague conference Mr Hodgson will spend five days in Israel, meeting political and business leaders and senior officials to learn about the country's success in establishing a flourishing venture capital sector and attracting foreign capital for high technology investment.

Mr Hodgson then has three days in the San Francisco area in California, meeting high technology companies and researchers. He will host a presentation to promote New Zealand's research and development capability. He returns to New Zealand on December 7.


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