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Strengthening NZ-US relationship

21 April 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Strengthening NZ-US relationship is of mutual benefit

Jim Anderton, Minister of Economic Development and Progressive Party Leader met with the New Zealand-United States Council this afternoon to discuss the mutual benefit of business and trading relationships between the two countries.

"As ANZAC day approaches it is worth reflecting on New Zealand's long history of pulling our weight in battle, working together with American soldiers to protect our shared values of democracy and freedom. Even today New Zealanders are at work beside Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan carrying out rebuilding work in the face of considerable danger.

"I am traveling to the United States in a few weeks time to attend the UN Forum on Forests in New York and will take the opportunity to build on our relationships while I am there. Clearly New Zealand is interested in furthering discussions on closer economic relations and free trade.

"The US market offers many opportunities for world-class NZ enterprises. Already we have made progress in developing these through the work of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Investment New Zealand.

"Examples of the mutual benefit in NZ and US business working together include: leading marine electronics company Navman and US counterpart Brunswick; information technology company HITLab NZ and HITLab in the US; and furniture company Formway Design and US partner company, Knoll.

"Another example of this is the film industry where international screen production companies work with New Zealand expertise, like that of NZ-US council member Peter Jackson, to make highly successful movies. I announced funding today for Film NZ to continue it's work linking local crew and resources up with international production companies. $578,000 a year has been provided in the budget for 2 years and ongoing funding will be reviewed after that.

"While the American companies share in our expertise and innovation, the New Zealand counterparts can tap in to the distribution networks, research and development of the bigger partner. It's a win-win situation which exemplifies New Zealand's overall relationship with the United States," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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