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Peters Pleased with APEC Progress

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

16 November 2005
Media Release

Peters Pleased with APEC Progress

Winston Peters will leave Busan, Korea tomorrow having completed his first overseas visit as Foreign Minister. He attended this year's APEC Ministerial Meeting on 15-16 November along with Minister of Trade Phil Goff and Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton.

"New Zealand is well regarded by the other members of APEC for the efforts we have put in since APEC's inception to ensure that APEC delivers concrete trade and economic, and human security benefits, and complements the activities of other regional groupings and international organisations," Mr Peters said.

"The Ministerial Meeting has laid the groundwork for the APEC Heads of Government meeting this weekend to produce useful outcomes on priority issues in areas such as counter-terrorism, responses to infectious diseases like avian flu, and promoting stronger economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

"It was very useful to engage early on in my tenure as Foreign Minister with counterparts from a number of New Zealand's most important partners."

Mr Peters held formal bilateral meetings with the representatives of more than half of APEC's twenty-one member economies.

"A theme of my meetings with Foreign Ministers from countries in East Asia was satisfaction that New Zealand will participate in the first ever East Asia Summit, in Malaysia next month. New Zealand's success in being invited to be part of the EAS has come about in recognition of New Zealand's sustained interest in building stronger relations with Asia, and the contribution we are making to regional cooperation.

"For New Zealand, APEC is important in the way it brings together countries with which we have longstanding close relationships, on both sides of the Pacific, and countries in Asia and Latin America with which we are rapidly expanding our ties," concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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