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New High Commissioner to Singapore

New Zealand's next High Commissioner to Singapore will be career diplomat Nigel Moore, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jim Sutton announced today.

The relationship with Singapore is one of the closest we have with any country, Mr Sutton said.

"The entry into force this year of the Closer Economic Partnership between us provides clear evidence of the strength and depth of the relationship. The agreement is one of the most comprehensive trade agreements ever negotiated."

Singapore is ranked 12th out of New Zealand's top 20 export destinations. Exports totalled $486 million in the year to December 2000, a 16 percent increase over the previous year, and imports amounted to $516 million in the same period. Singapore is also a major investor in New Zealand, and almost 36,000 Singaporean tourists visited New Zealand in the year 2000.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand valued its partnership with Singapore in many multilateral and regional groups.

"We have a significant defence relationship, second only to Australia in terms of the range of activities and exchanges. We are also linked with Singapore as members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements."

Nigel Moore is an experienced officer who joined the Ministry in 1973. He has served overseas in Apia, Kuala Lumpur, Nuku'alofa and most recently Port Moresby, where he has been High Commissioner since 1997.

Mr Moore will take up his new position in June. He replaces David Kersey who will return to Wellington.


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