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Goff announces new Ambassador to China

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

25 August 2004

Goff announces new Ambassador to China

New Zealand’s next Ambassador to China will be career diplomat Tony Browne, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“This is a very important time in our relationship with China,” Mr Goff said. “The FTA negotiation due to get underway shortly will give China an increasingly large role in New Zealand’s economic growth.

"Tony Browne has a long background in dealing with China. He served in Beijing in the mid-1970s and speaks Chinese. More recently he led the New Zealand team that worked on the Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework, which was the first step towards FTA negotiations.

“China is already New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, with two-way trade now exceeding $4 billion annually. It is our largest single market for milk powder and wool, and a major market for most of New Zealand’s other primary products.

“China also represents one of New Zealand’s bedrock international relationships. We work with China on regional security issues in APEC and the UN, as members of the WTO, and as partners in the Pacific.

“The education and care of Chinese students studying here, as well as tourism, scientific cooperation, human rights and trade access questions, are among the many other issues on which we talk closely to China,” Mr Goff said.

Mr Browne is currently Director of North Asia Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His previous postings have included Hong Kong, Tokelau, New York, and Vanuatu. He has also been director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taiwan.

Mr Browne replaces John McKinnon in Beijing, where he will also serve as New Zealand’s Ambassador to Mongolia.

ENDS

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