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New Home for "NZ Inc." in Los Angeles

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

23 February 2005

New Home for "NZ Inc." in Los Angeles

A New Zealand Inc. approach is the driving force behind the opening of New Zealand’s new Consulate office in Los Angeles, says Foreign Minister, Phil Goff.

“For the first time New Zealand’s key public agencies in California will be located in the same premises, symbolising the need for a coordinated effort to promote New Zealand’s interests in a key market.

“The Consulate brings together representatives of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Investment New Zealand and the New Zealand Immigration Service.

“The long-standing consular presence in Los Angeles, going back to 1964, reflects the importance of California and the 12 other Western US states it serves to New Zealand.

“California itself is at the heart of the Consulate’s work. With 35 million people and a gross state product of US$1.4 trillion, California is the sixth largest economic unit in the world. It is a global leader in trade and commerce, higher education, scientific research, entertainment and technology.

“Just under a third of New Zealand’s US$4.2 billion trade is with California and 25 percent of the quarter million US tourists who come to New Zealand each year are Californians. A big percentage of US investment in New Zealand especially in film, forestry, ICT and biotechnology is California based."

Speaking at the Consulate opening, Mr Goff again promoted New Zealand’s interest in a Free Trade Agreement with the US.

“New Zealand has strong support from US corporates in opening negotiations for a free trade agreement. Tom Donohue, President of the US Chamber of Commerce has thrown his support behind it. We welcome the recent announcement by the National Association of Manufacturers that NZ is one of the five top countries with which a free trade agreement would have most benefit.

“We also applaud the launching of the Friends of New Zealand Congressional caucus last week, which has already signed up as members an impressive 54 members of Congress,” Mr Goff said.

The Consulate opening was attended by a large group including expatriate New Zealanders, business representatives, local, city and state representatives and members of the consular community.

ENDS


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