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New Ambassador to Thailand

New Ambassador to Thailand

New Zealand’s new ambassador to Thailand is career diplomat Peter Rider, Foreign Minister, Phil Goff announced today.

Mr Goff said New Zealand’s relationship with Thailand was multi-faceted and highly valued.

“There has been impressive two-way growth in trade - New Zealand exports to Thailand have more than trebled since 1990 with total exports of $392m in the year to June 2002, while imports from Thailand amount to $536m.

"Thailand is the largest ASEAN source country for education - more than 3000 Thai students undertook study in New Zealand last year. There is also healthy growth in tourism. Thailand remains a popular holiday destination for New Zealanders and we welcome around 20,000 Thai tourists to our shores annually.

“In the broader regional arena, Thailand is an important partner in the ASEAN Free Trade Area-Closer Economic Partnership and is an influential member of APEC, which it currently chairs.

“Peter Rider has been international affairs adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet since 2000. His previous postings include Bahrain, Riyadh, Geneva and New York, where he was New Zealand's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

“He is an able and widely experienced officer and well equipped to represent New Zealand in his new assignment,” Mr Goff said.

Mr Rider will also be accredited as ambassador to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. He takes up his post in June 2003 and replaces Alan Williams who is returning to Wellington.

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