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Goff Welcomes Chile Talks

6 December 2001

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed this week’s visit of Chilean officials for high level political and economic consultations.

Mr Goff met with the delegation, led by Director General for Political Affairs in the Chilean Foreign Ministry Ambassador Mario Artaza.

“This visit highlights the strong connections between New Zealand and Chile and indicates a welcome commitment by the Chileans to broaden and deepen links.

“While consultations addressed strengthening the bilateral relationship, they also looked at ways the two countries can work more closely on regional and multilateral issues.

“Discussion topics included the international response to terrorism, cooperation on disarmament and environmental issues, and collaboration in the UN, APEC, and the WTO. Officials also discussed work towards a possible closer economic partnership between New Zealand and Chile.

“With recent advances in the bilateral relationship, there have never been more opportunities for New Zealanders and Chileans to get to know each other better. A working holiday scheme, our first in Latin America, is now in operation and negotiations towards a double taxation agreement to stimulate business links are nearing completion.

“New Zealand’s Latin America Strategy has focused attention on the Latin region, and the Prime Minister’s recent visit was a resounding success. It is great to see our efforts to bring New Zealand and Chile closer together reciprocated by the government and people of Chile,” said Mr Goff.

New Zealand’s relationship with Chile is our longest-standing in Latin America, with diplomatic relations established in 1972. Embassies in both countries will host events to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic links next year.

Ends


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