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Prime Minister to visit United States

1 March 2007

Prime Minister to visit United States

Prime Minister Helen Clark will meet President George W. Bush and other senior members of the US Administration when she visits Washington D.C. this month.

Helen Clark departs New Zealand on 19 March and will return on 26 March. She will be in Washington on 20-21 March, and will also visit Chicago and Seattle.

"New Zealand and the United States enjoy a strong and mature friendship built on common values and a long history of working together in many areas. I look forward to emphasising the breadth and depth of that relationship," Helen Clark said.

“I particularly look forward to discussions with President Bush and senior members of his Administration. We share common interests in counter-terrorism, including in Afghanistan; regional security and good governance in the Pacific and Timor Leste; nuclear counter-proliferation around the world; more open trade; scientific and technical cooperation; and in safeguarding both the Antarctic environment and marine biodiversity more generally.

"The United States is New Zealand's second largest trade partner. I will use my time in Chicago and Seattle to highlight and promote New Zealand’s science and technology, investment, education and tourism linkages with the US.

“Chicago is a key business centre for New Zealand interests, and is home to a number of large corporations with strong New Zealand connections, and which import many New Zealand products.

"Seattle and the wider Washington State area are important trade and investment partners for New Zealand in their own right. The Washington Governor Christine Gregoire visited New Zealand in May 2006, and highlighted the life sciences and future energy needs as areas of potential further collaboration between her State and New Zealand.

"Our world faces major security, economic, energy, and environmental challenges in the 21st century. New Zealand values the opportunity to have dialogue with and work alongside the United States on many of these issues,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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