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Goff to visit South East Asia

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade


29 June 2004
Media statement

Goff to visit South East Asia

New Zealand’s links with South East Asia will be in the spotlight this week when Foreign Minister Phil Goff travels to Jakarta for meetings with regional counterparts before visiting Viet Nam and the Philippines.

In Jakarta, Mr Goff will take part in annual Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dialogue Partners meetings and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which involves Foreign Ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries plus the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, India, Australia, North Korea, Papua New Guinea and, for the first time, Pakistan.

"The trip involves a full programme of formal bilateral discussions, including with the newly appointed foreign ministers of India and Russia, and North Korea's Paek Nam Sun, and opportunities for informal discussions with other leaders,” Mr Goff said.

“New Zealand's relations with ASEAN are on a positive track. Work is underway on a possible Free Trade Agreement between ASEAN and CER, something New Zealand has worked towards for some years. I hope that the suggested summit meeting between ASEAN leaders and the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia will be confirmed for November.

"A summit meeting would mark New Zealand’s 30 years of dialogue partnership with ASEAN. It would also set a framework for more extensive policy engagement and practical cooperation with ASEAN in the future.

"ASEAN is a key to New Zealand's relations with Asia. It is a significant export market, and is of growing importance to our investment, education services, and tourism sectors.

"ASEAN members are also at the centre of developments that are shaping the future economic progress and stability of the Asian region, and it is vitally important that New Zealand forges stronger ties with them."

Mr Goff said he expected the ARF discussions to focus on international and regional security concerns such as terrorism and cooperative counter-terrorism efforts; the situation on the Korean Peninsula; Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Myanmar.

In Viet Nam, Mr Goff will visit NZAID projects in Binh Dinh province and meet President Tran Duc Luong, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, and Foreign Minister Dy Nien in Hanoi.

"In Manila, I hope to meet newly re-elected President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as well as members of the new Philippine government to discuss a range of bilateral and regional matters," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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