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Education a focus on visit to Asia and China

30 March 2008

Education a focus on visit to Asia and China

Education Minister and Minister for Ethnic Affairs Chris Carter will be one of the first international politicians to engage with Thailand’s new democratic government when he arrives there later today.

The Minister is visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before joining the New Zealand delegation to China for the signing of the Free Trade Agreement.

“Thailand, and in fact all three countries, are also important education markets for New Zealand and I have a number of issues I will be discussing with my counterparts during my visits.”

As well as meeting with education ministers in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, the Minister will promote New Zealand as a destination for English language teaching for both tertiary and secondary school students from the region.

“Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are all trying to improve the provision of English language teaching in their schools and I’m keen to discuss how New Zealand can develop English language teaching in Vietnamese and Cambodian schools.”

The Minister will also represent Prime Minister Helen Clark at the Regional Interfaith Forum in Phnom Penh on April 3.

“A range of religions will be represented at the Forum which is a chance to promote dialogue and better understanding between people of all faiths,” Chris Carter said.

The Education Minister will join Prime Minister Helen Clark and Trade Minister Phil Goff in Beijing for the signing of the Free Trade Agreement with China but his focus for the visit will be on education issues and will include a meeting with Chinese Education Minister Dr Zhou Ji and other education officials.

“China remains the single largest source of visiting international students and I am keen to do all I can to ensure our country continues to be seen as a major provider of English language teaching for Chinese students,” Chris Carter said.

ENDS

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