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New Ambassador To Malaysia

New Zealand's next High Commissioner to Malaysia would be career diplomat Mac Price, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand's relations with Malaysia were comprehensive and encompassed strong links in trade, education, tourism, defence, science and technology.

"Malaysia is our largest Southeast Asian export market, and our 10th-largest worldwide. In the past two years there has been significant growth in our exports to and imports from Malaysia. Two-way trade is valued at over NZ$ 1 billion per annum."

Mr Sutton said Malaysia and New Zealand had close links in education, with many New Zealand universities having well established contacts and formal agreements with Malaysian education providers.

"Malaysia is New Zealand's largest single source of overseas fee-paying university students. There are currently over 1500 Malaysian students studying in New Zealand."

New Zealand and Malaysia are partners in the Five Power Defence Arrangement signed in 1971. It is our only defence arrangement in the Southeast Asian region.

Mr Price joined the Ministry in 1972 and his other overseas postings have been in Tokyo, Canberra, Noumea, Jakarta and most recently Apia, where he has been High Commissioner since 1999.

As High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Price will also be accredited to Brunei. He will take up his new position in July, replacing Sarah Dennis who is returning to Wellington.

Ends

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