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Phillip Gibson to head NZ team for World Expo

1 March 2004 Media Statement

Phillip Gibson to head NZ team for World Expo

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that senior diplomat Phillip Gibson has been appointed New Zealand’s Commissioner General for the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan.

Mr Gibson is currently New Zealand’s Ambassador to Japan. He will be seconded to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for the duration of the Aichi World Expo project.

“Mr Gibson is one our most senior diplomats, with extensive experience in the Asia region, having been Ambassador to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, as well as Japan. He played a seminal role in the development of Asia 2000 in his term as chief executive of that organisation.

“He brings to this role valuable insights, strong business connections, and a fresh perspective on New Zealand’s profile in Japan and Asia.

“The primary focus of the 2005 World Expo will be on the environment and technology, which ties in strongly with the government’s drive to develop an innovative, high tech economy which enhances New Zealand’s environment and quality of life.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Tourism New Zealand will be the government agencies involved in the project. The private sector is also being approached for support.

Around 110 countries have committed to participating in the Expo, including Australia, Canada, most members of the European Union, and many Asian countries.

The participation is expected to cost up to $8.5 million. The last World Expo at which New Zealand participated was the Seville Expo in Spain in 1992.


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