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Shaping New Zealand¹s future links with Asia


Shaping New Zealand¹s future links with Asia

Ideas contributed by hundreds of members of the public will come under the spotlight at the Seriously Asia Forum to be held at Parliament later this month (November 25 and 26).

Asia 2000 executive director Christopher Butler says the Forum, which will feature prominent local and overseas speakers, is expected to attract high level attention both in New Zealand and in the Asian region.

The event, part of Asia 2000¹s Seriously Asia project launched in August, will be hosted by Prime Minister Helen Clark and aims to identify priorities for strengthening New Zealand¹s relationships with its Asian neighbours. It has been preceded by a three month process of collecting views from the public through nation-wide workshops and a website at www.seriouslyasia.org.nz.

³The project has proved itself as a new and original way of promoting public discussion on New Zealand-Asian issues,² Mr Butler says. ³The 230 contributions through the website reflect the participation of several hundred people and include a good number of useful proposals. A summary of action ideas has now been posted on the website for all to see (www.seriouslyasia.org.nz/views/summary.php).²

Public contributions have also been reviewed by issue groups responsible for highlighting priority goals and ideas for practical action. Representatives from the groups will present their reports to the November Forum.

The Forum begins on Tuesday 25 November with a keynote speech to an opening dinner by the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong. Mr Lee is an Asia 2000 Honorary Adviser. The following day will be devoted to discussion of local and overseas perspectives on New Zealand¹s links with Asia and will conclude with a summary by the Prime Minister.

The outcome for this year¹s Seriously Asia process will be a report of agreed priority goals and practical steps key players in the public and private sectors could take to reach them.

For further information about Asia 2000¹s Seriously Asia project go to www.seriouslyasia.org.nz

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