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Peters names new Ambassador to China

Peters names new Ambassador to China

New Zealand's next Ambassador to China will be career diplomat Carl Worker, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

"China has become central to the future of the Asia-Pacific region, and to our own diplomatic effort in the region," Mr Peters said.

"There are currently nine New Zealand government agencies represented on the ground in China, and more than 50 agencies have dealings with the Chinese.

"Strengthening our diplomatic presence there is a key part of the enhanced capability for foreign affairs that was announced in this year's Budget. We also plan to build on the Free Trade Agreement with China by ensuring there will be a strong New Zealand presence at the Shanghai EXPO in 2010.

"China's importance to New Zealand is underscored by the fact that it is now our second largest source of imports, and our fourth largest export market.

"These links are being further strengthened by a promising growth in tourist numbers, and the fact that Air New Zealand now flies to both Shanghai and Beijing," Mr Peters said.

Mr Worker is a Mandarin Chinese speaker, and has been posted to Beijing twice, including as Deputy Head of Mission. He has also been New Zealand Consul-General in Hong Kong, and New Zealand Ambassador in Argentina.

Mr Worker is currently director of the Americas Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He takes up his position in March, replacing Tony Browne, who returns to Wellington.

ENDS

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