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US NZ Partnership Forum Opens In Washington

Media Release
6 October 2009

US NZ Partnership Forum Opens In Washington

The agenda for the third US NZ Partnership Forum focuses on the potential for expanded co-operation in the areas of trade and economic development, business innovation, climate change, energy and security, say the organizers.

The Forum opens in Washington with an evening reception on 6 October ( 7 Oct, 11am NZ time) and concludes after lunch on 8 October (9 Oct, 7am NZ time). An opening keynote address on behalf of the Obama Administration will be delivered by the Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg. The Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and the Deputy US Trade Representative, Demetrios Marantis, will also address the Forum along with the New Zealand Foreign and Trade Ministers, Hon Murray McCully and Hon Tim Groser.

Releasing the Forum progamme and delegation lists today, the President of the US NZ Council, John Mullen, said the Forum’s broad agenda reflects the depth of the relationship between the two countries:

“New Zealand is a close friend and ally of the United States. This year’s Forum has attracted a high level American delegation. This reflects both the standing of New Zealand in Washington right now and the interest from the Administration and business in seeing how the relationship can be further developed to advance our mutual interests.”

The Forum will be co-chaired on the US side by former Democrat Congressman, Cal Dooley, and former US Trade Representative, Susan Schwab.

Other prominent US delegation members include Special Assistant to the President at the National Security Council, Jeff Bader; Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell; Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Ellen Tauscher; former US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage; President of the American Motion Picture Association, Dan Glickman; President of the American Council on Renewable Energy, Mike Eckhart; and senior representatives of a number of corporates including Boeing, Cargill, Caterpillar, Constellation Brands, Google, Kraft, Mars, Oracle, Pernod Ricard, Pfizer, Time Warner and the US Chamber of Commerce.

NZ US Council Chairman Rt Hon James Bolger, is co-chairing the Forum for New Zealand along with Rt Hon Mike Moore.

“I expect this year’s Forum to be the occasion for some open and free-flowing dialogue with an influential audience about how new value can be created from the relationship. We have brought to Washington 55 leaders from government and business who are intent on taking this relationship to a new level”, said Mr Bolger.

Prominent attendees on the New Zealand side include Opposition Leader Hon Phil Goff; Opposition Spokesperson on Trade, Hon Maryan Street; several heads of government departments and the Chairs or CEOs of some of New Zealand’s largest companies.

Andrew Ferrier, Fonterra’s CEO, one of the New Zealand business leaders in attendance, says the US is the world’s largest economy and is one of the most important markets for New Zealand exporters such as Fonterra. “It’s vital to continue to grow relationships and to build opportunities for successful trade between our two countries, and together, for successful trade into other parts of the world.”

About the Partnership Forum - The two day Partnership Forum is an invitation only event that brings together leaders from the American and New Zealand governments, business and non government communities to discuss how the economic, political and personal ties between the two countries can be strengthened and developed to meet the challenges of today’s global economy. The Forum’s discussions are held under the Chatham House Rule, making them essentially off the record unless the presenters wish to release their remarks. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Trans Pacific Partnership: Deepening Engagement; Expanding Opportunities”.

About the US-NZ Council – www.usnzcouncil.org
The US-NZ Council is a private non-profit organisation founded in 1986 and headquartered in Washington DC. Its mission is to foster and strengthen United States-New Zealand relations through enhanced communications, encouraging the expansion of trade and commercial ties, and facilitating cultural exchanges between the two countries. The Council works closely with the US business community with interests in New Zealand, and maintains close contacts with officials of both governments and New Zealand’s Washington Embassy. The Council organized the first ever US NZ Partnership Forum held in Washington DC 20-22 April 2006.

About the NZUS Council – www.nzuscouncil.com
The NZ US Council is a non partisan body funded by both business and the Government to promote New Zealand’s broader relationship with the US. Two way trade with the US is valued at over $8 billion and the US is a leading source of investment, innovation and business ideas. The Council organized the second US-NZ Partnership Forum held in Auckland 9-11 September 2007.

ENDS

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