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Singapore President to visit New Zealand

Singapore President to visit New Zealand


The President of Singapore, S R Nathan, will make an official visit to New Zealand from 26 to 30 April, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Singapore is among our most substantial and developed in South East Asia, and this visit is an opportunity to reinforce the value of the relationship,” Helen Clark said. “Singapore’s small size and open market make it an ideal partner for New Zealand within the region.

“Our bilateral economic relationship is in good shape. Our two-way trade reached nearly NZ$3 billion in 2007, and our exports to Singapore increased by 27 per cent last year.

“In recent years, the depth of the relationship has increased through regular and close co-operation on defence and regional matters,” Helen Clark said.

“Defence links date back to 1955, and form a prominent part of the relationship. New Zealand undertakes an extensive range of military exercises with Singapore, making Singapore New Zealand’s second largest defence partner in the Asia-Pacific. We are also developing a deeper dialogue with Singapore on counter-terrorism in the region.

“As the current chair of ASEAN, the last host of the East Asia Summit, and the host of APEC 2009, Singapore is an important regional player.

“This visit will help to promote further collaboration between New Zealand and Singapore in new areas such as scientific research, education, and sustainability issues,” Helen Clark said.

This is President Nathan’s first state visit New Zealand. He will be accompanied by his wife, Mrs Nathan, two ministers, two MPs, and senior officials.

ends

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