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New Ambassador To Indonesia

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

17 April 2001


New Zealand's next Ambassador to Indonesia will be career diplomat Chris Elder, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Mr Goff said that Mr Elder will be going to Indonesia at a very important time.

"Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world and is New Zealand's nearest Asian neighbour. It is undergoing a difficult transition and has embarked on a daunting number of political and economic reforms.

"It is important that countries like New Zealand encourage Indonesia to restore political stability and sustainable economic growth without which current social, ethnic, religious and separatist problems cannot be overcome.

"Links with Indonesia in business, education and tourism are well established. New Zealand's exports have recovered from the 1998 collapse and are now at record levels: $438 million in the year to December. There is potential for more extensive and productive linkages between the two countries at both governmental and non-governmental levels," said Mr Goff.

Currently a Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Elder's previous postings include London, Tokyo and most recently Ambassador in Beijing.

"Mr Elder brings a wealth of relevant experience to his new assignment. I am confident he will represent New Zealand well," Mr Goff said.

Mr Elder takes up his post in November 2001 and replaces Michael Green who will be returning to Wellington.


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