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Air NZ alliance opens gateway to ASEAN region

Air NZ alliance opens gateway to ASEAN region


Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed regulatory approval for the alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, describing the initiative as “a game changer” in his meeting with Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The potential for more direct flights into Singapore, with connections to other ASEAN capitals, is a game-changing development for New Zealand’s relationship with Southeast Asian countries," Mr McCully says.

"Our partners in Southeast Asia see this move as a welcome step, especially as we prepare to celebrate our 40th anniversary of engagement with ASEAN and our 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Singapore next year.

“The alliance also means more opportunities for New Zealand businesses. There are over 620 million people living in the ASEAN countries, and they are increasingly demanding the high-quality products exported by New Zealand businesses. Two-way merchandise trade amounts to $13 billion annually, and New Zealand’s exports to ASEAN were over $5 billion in the past year.

“This is set to grow as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement comes fully into effect. Goods exports alone grew by over 20 per cent in the past twelve months. Increased air links will allow New Zealand businesses to continue this trend.

"In addition to our trade in goods, ASEAN is also a major source of foreign fee paying students and tourists for New Zealand. These industries can only benefit from increased air links between ASEAN and New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

Minister McCully is currently in Myanmar for the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN-New Zealand Ministerial meeting.

ends

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