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Governor-General to visit South East Asia

31 July 2013

Governor-General to visit South East Asia

The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit South East Asia to promote New Zealand interests in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos.

The Governor-General and Lady Janine Mateparae arrive in Viet Nam on 3 August before visiting Cambodia from 8 August and Laos from 12 August. Sir Jerry Mateparae will be the first New Zealand Governor-General to visit Cambodia and Laos and the second to visit Viet Nam.

Sir Jerry Mateparae said the visit was an opportunity to reinforce the strong and friendly relationships New Zealand has with Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos as well as supporting New Zealand’s significant engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This year also marks the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s diplomatic relations with Laos.

“South East Asia is one of the world’s most dynamic economic growth areas and ASEAN – of which Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos are all members – is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner. From the days of the Colombo Plan with its focus on education, New Zealand’s connections with Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos have diversified and we have developed strong business, trade, education, tourism, development and people-to-people links in all three nations,” the Governor-General said.

In Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos, the Governor-General will either host, or be guest of honour, at events for alumni of the New Zealand ASEAN Scholars and English Language Training for Officials programmes, both of which form a major component of New Zealand’s aid assistance.

In Viet Nam Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae will receive an official welcome, make calls on senior Vietnamese government and party leaders and be the guests of honour at a State Banquet hosted by the President HE Truong Tan Sang. In Ha Noi the Governor-General will also witness the signing of two agreements – the second phase of the Comprehensive Partnership Action Plan and the Double Taxation Agreement. The programme in Ho Chi Minh City will focus on highlighting key links in business and education.

The Governor-General will visit Cambodia at the invitation of HM King Norodom Sihamoni. Sir Jerry and Lady Janine will visit Phnom Penh where they will be accorded an official welcome and be received by the King. They will then travel to Siem Reap to undertake a series of engagements to highlight New Zealand’s development assistance to Cambodia. While in Cambodia, the Governor-General and Lady Janine will meet with former Governor-General, Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright, who is an international judge in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

In Laos, the Governor-General will receive an official welcome from the President, HE Choummaly Sayasone and make a number of calls on senior figures in the government as well as attending a State Banquet in their honour. They will also travel to Xieng Khouang province where New Zealand has long supported the clearance of unexploded ordnance.

While the Governor-General is overseas from 3 – 15 August, Chief Justice, The Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, will serve as Administrator of the Government.

ENDS

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