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Goff Welcomes Supachai Visit To New Zealand

Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister and acting Trade Negotiations Minister Phil Goff has welcomed news of month's visit by the World Trade Organisation's next leader and Thailand's former deputy prime minister, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi.

"Dr Supachai is one of Asia's most highly-regarded political leaders, and I am delighted he has agreed to come to New Zealand.

"This is a good opportunity for us to talk through a range of trade issues in the crucial build-up to the WTO ministerial meeting in Qatar in November.

"Dr Supachai takes the WTO leadership role from Mike Moore next year. His visit here next month is a chance to raise the WTO's profile amongst New Zealanders," Mr Goff said.

As well as meeting Trade Minister Jim Sutton and Prime Minister Helen Clark, Dr Supachai will have meetings with New Zealand business leaders, NGOs and MFAT officials.

Dr Supachai is in New Zealand from September 21 to 26 as a Guest of Government.

He has been invited to New Zealand by the Asia 2000 Foundation to attend its Asia Forum in Auckland on September 25.

The one-day meeting will bring together business and government leaders to discuss where Asia stands today.

An honorary adviser to the Foundation, Dr Supachai will also be keynote speaker at the Forum dinner.

Ends


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