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Almao To Head New NZ Embassy In Brazil

New Zealand's first Embassy in Brazil will open in July with Denise Almao appointed as Ambassador, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"Ms Almao will head this country's first ever mission in Brasilia which will be a key component of the Government's Latin American strategy which was launched last year.

"Brazil is the largest economy in South America and with 170 million people has the world's fifth largest population. The opening of the Embassy will be a major step towards boosting the bilateral trade with New Zealand which was worth over $142 million at June 2000," Mr Goff said.

The Embassy further enhances New Zealand's representation in the region with missions already in Argentina, Mexico and Chile.

"Brazil is a powerful player in international affairs and the presence of the mission will help New Zealand build on the already good cooperation on issues such as nuclear disarmament and the environment.

"These links underline the importance of our diplomatic ties with Brasilia. With the momentum gathered during the Prime Minister's visit to Latin America last year, relations between New Zealand and Brazil are moving to a new level," Mr Goff said.

Ms Almao is an experienced diplomat who joined MFAT in 1979. She has had previous postings to Rome and two to New York and was also the first New Zealander to serve on a key United Nations budget committee. She is currently Deputy Director in the Ministry's UN and Commonwealth Division.

ENDS.


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