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State Visit Of Korean President

The programme for September's State visit to New Zealand by Korean President Kim Dae-jung was announced by the Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley, today.

A State dinner, an address to the Korean New Zealand Business Council, a meeting with Korean Community members, formal talks between the two Leaders on bilateral ties, and a State welcome at Government House are scheduled over three days.

The State visit is the first by a Korean Head of State for more than 30 years.

"Korea is now New Zealand's fifth largest export market and a significant partner in tourism, education, immigration and investment," said Mrs. Shipley.

"Korea is a major market for New Zealand's wood, aluminum, hides, skins and deer velvet exports. As trade barriers fall, the Korean market will present great opportunities for New Zealand's horticultural, meat and manufacturing sectors.

"President Kim's visit is an unprecedented opportunity for New Zealand to promote itself in one of our biggest markets. He is a remarkable political leader whose commitment to democracy and reform has been demonstrated over many years.

"He's widely acknowledged as "Asia's Mandela" for his efforts to promote human rights and democracy in Korea. Under his presidency, Korea is making a strong recovery after the recent Asian financial crisis," Mrs Shipley said.

President Kim who will be accompanied by Mrs Kim Dae-jung and three Ministers, arrives at Auckland International airport early on Saturday 11 September 1999. His State Visit to New Zealand commences immediately after the APEC Leaders Meeting. He will leave New Zealand on Wednesday 15 September.

ENDS

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