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PM to attend East Asia Summit

PM to attend East Asia Summit

Prime Minister Helen Clark is to attend the East Asia Summit in Cebu in the Philippines next week.

Helen Clark departs New Zealand late Saturday, 13 January, and returns on the 17th. The summit was postponed last month due to a typhoon threatening to hit Cebu. This will be the second East Asia Summit, following the inaugural meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 2005.

It will bring together leaders from the 10 countries making up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations grouping (ASEAN), the ASEAN+3 group (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), and Australia, New Zealand, and India.

"Energy issues will be a priority topic for the Cebu meeting, along with education, finance, avian flu, and disaster mitigation and preparedness," Helen Clark said.

"Leaders at this year's Summit also face the challenge of determining a role for it which complements and adds value to the work of other processes, such as APEC. Other topics, such as the WTO's Doha Round and recent developments in North Korea are also likely to be discussed.

"New Zealand welcomes the development of outward-looking and inclusive regional structures such as the East Asia Summit. We need to play a full part in these developments, and we are strongly committed to the Summit's success."

Helen Clark will also make a brief visit to Macao, a special administrative region of China, to meet and have lunch with Edmund Ho, the Chief Executive of Macao, and meet key business contacts with an interest in the New Zealand/Macao relationship.

Helen Clark will also visit the Fisherman's Wharf area of Macao, which offers trade opportunities for New Zealand, to support efforts by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Consulate General in Hong Kong to raise New Zealand's profile and promote New Zealand's goods and services in Macao.

ENDS

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