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Seriously Asia Comes To Nelson


MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 22 September 2003

SERIOUSLY ASIA COMES TO NELSON

New Zealand’s future economic strength will depend in large measure on developing our relationships with Asia, Asia 2000 Foundation executive director Christopher Butler will tell Nelson business people tomorrow (Tues 23 September).

Mr Butler is the guest speaker at the Seriously Asia Nelson regional workshop. The lunchtime workshop is organised in conjunction with Nelson NZ Trade and Enterprise, and will be attended by local business people.

Seriously Asia is a joint government and private sector initiative, organised by the Asia 2000 Foundation.

Mr Butler says the value of New Zealand’s links with Asia are equivalent to just over a fifth of our economy. “A very bleak picture would be painted if New Zealand could not maintain, let alone increase, the ‘Asian’ share of the economy,” he says.

Mr Butler is a former New Zealand Ambassador to Korea, chair of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment, and New Zealand Trade Commissioner to China. He is now based in Wellington.

Seriously Asia was launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark last month, and brings together ideas from across New Zealand. The aim is to identify priority goals and practical action for energising New Zealand’s links with the countries of Asia - both in the business sector and culturally.

Workshops and special events are being held around the country over six weeks as a way of sharing ideas from business and the community. Input is also being invited via the Seriously Asia website: www.seriouslyasia.org.nz. Priority goals will be identified during a one day Asia Forum at Parliament on November 26.

For further information about Seriously Asia go to: http://www.seriouslyasia.co.nz

ENDS


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