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Peters names new Ambassador to Philippines

Peters names new Ambassador to Philippines

New Zealand's next Ambassador to the Philippines will be career diplomat Andrew Matheson, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

"The Philippines is an important partner for New Zealand in the Asian region, particularly given its role in forums such as ASEAN, the East Asia Summit and APEC," said Mr Peters.

"The bilateral relationship is wide-ranging and includes collaboration in areas such as defence, police, human rights institutions, and natural resource management and conservation.

"There are opportunities for further co-operation in sectors such as education, renewable energy, information and communication technology and forestry," Mr Peters said.

The Philippines is an important economic partner for New Zealand, and is New Zealand's 10th largest merchandise export market and second-largest in Southeast Asia.

New Zealand goods exports to the Philippines have grown by 34 per cent in the past five years to $667 million annually.

New Zealand's development assistance to the Philippines is currently NZ$4 million annually and is targeted at the development of sustainable rural livelihoods, primarily ecotourism and coastal management for local communities, and the provision of post-graduate scholarships.

Mr Matheson is currently Deputy Director of Europe Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His previous posting was as Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.

He begins his posting in September, replacing David Pine who is returning to Wellington.


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