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McCully announces new Ambassador to ASEAN

McCully announces new Ambassador to ASEAN

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today named diplomat Stephanie Lee as New Zealand’s first dedicated Ambassador the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The ASEAN region is a key political and security partner for New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

“Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-New Zealand relationship and our decision to appoint a dedicated Ambassador to the region reflects these long standing ties.

“The new role will be based in based in Jakarta and is in addition to our existing Ambassador to Indonesia - significantly bolstering our diplomatic presence in the region.

“Our Ambassador to ASEAN will be responsible for maintaining the momentum which has built around New Zealand’s relationship with the region. This will involve deepening the trading and political relationship, and offering New Zealand’s support and expertise in areas such as agricultural development, education, disaster relief, collective security, and combatting transnational crime.

“Our exports to the 10 ASEAN countries totalled more than $4.7 billion in 2013 and this trade is underpinned by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

“There are a number of areas where we can further grow this already significant trade and economic relationship, particularly in tourism, education and training linkages between New Zealand and ASEAN,” Mr McCully says.

Ms Lee was most recently New Zealand’s Deputy Permanent representative to the United Nations and previously represented New Zealand at the OECD.

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