20 November 2013
Prime Minister Key meets Thai Prime Minister
Prime Minister John Key met with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra late last night New Zealand time for talks focused on promoting trade and economic links between Thailand and New Zealand.
“My visit to Thailand follows Prime Minister Yingluck’s to New Zealand earlier this year. These high level meetings are extremely valuable, and we are committed to finding further opportunities to grow the relationship,” Mr Key says.
Thailand is New Zealand’s 10th largest
trading partner and the two countries cooperate on a range of issues
including education, science and innovation, and regional security.
“There is huge potential for New Zealand and Thailand to expand our economic cooperation and we have a strong foundation for this through our Closer Economic Partnership,” says Mr Key.
“During our meeting last night we agreed to take a fresh look at this agreement. Our trade with Thailand has doubled since our CEP was signed in 2005. We want to ensure it continues to deliver for the private sector and provides the best possible platform for future growth.
“A number of New Zealand businesses have interests in Thailand. I was able to update Prime Minister Yingluck on the business initiatives signed during my visit.
“As our two countries are world leaders in global tourism we agreed to look at how we can learn from each other’s experience in this sector and how we can increase the frequency of direct flights, and the number of visitors between both countries.
“I was pleased to join with Prime Minister Yingluck, following our bilateral meeting, to witness the signing of an arrangement on tourism cooperation, as well as two education signings between individual New Zealand universities and Thai education authorities.
“We also cooperate across the range of regional forums, including the EAS and APEC, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Thailand through the United Nations system as well,” Mr Key says.
Mr Key is currently in Thailand leading a delegation made up of representatives from 22 New Zealand companies.Tweet
18 November 2013
PM welcomes closer business links with Thailand
Prime Minister John Key today welcomed a number of new business signings between New Zealand and Thai companies that will enhance the commercial links between the two countries.
“There is huge scope
for collaboration between companies in New Zealand and Thailand, and the
signings I have witnessed today show the range of areas in which
cooperation is possible,” Mr Key says.
“Last year New Zealand‘s exports to Thailand totalled more than NZ$626 million, with food and beverage products accounting for 73 per cent, or NZ$458 million, of that total.
“The Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement has opened up exciting new opportunities for both countries. But, ultimately it is up to businesses in both countries to take advantage of those opportunities, and it’s encouraging to see that happening.
“Today’s signings include the opening of new offices in Thailand, significant software and information systems delivery, food and beverage agreements and construction projects.
“Thailand was New Zealand’s 10th largest trading partner last year, and, further opportunities exist in the trade of commodities and value-added products and services,” Mr Key says.
Prime Minister Key is currently in Thailand leading a delegation made up of representatives from 22 New Zealand companies. The five announcements, made during a business luncheon in Bangkok included:
- Global logistics company
Mainfreight, a New Zealand domiciled and NZX-listed company, has
announced plans to open their first Thailand office for their Air &
Ocean global network.
- New Zealand global security leader Gallagher has announced plans to expand their operations in Thailand to support growing needs of the ASEAN countries.
- Orion Health announced they will significantly expand their specialist software development centre in Thailand to support further development of their Hospital Information System in collaboration with their flagship partner in Bangkok, Bumrungrad International.
- New Zealand multinational engineering and professional services consultancy Beca announced they will provide full engineering design services for Greenspot’s new soymilk production facility near Bangkok.
- New Zealand company Taura announced the launch of a snack product for the Thai market – Wel-B Fruit Bites – which has been produced by Thai company Joe-Ry Family using Taura’s URC® Mixed Berry fruit flakes. The new snacks will be launched in 7-Eleven convenience stores across Thailand.
13 November 2013
Philippines visit postponed - further support offered
Prime Minister John Key announced today that New Zealand is sending an RNZAF Hercules to contribute to relief efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
The Prime Minister also announced the postponement of his visit to the Philippines.
“A visit next week would place undue pressure on the Philippines Government at a critical time of the relief and recovery phase.
“New Zealand knows from recent experience in Christchurch how demanding responding to a large-scale disaster is and we don’t wish to distract from these efforts.
“An RNZAF C-130 Hercules carrying emergency supplies will depart New Zealand tomorrow for the Philippines. The aircraft will remain in the area for at least 4 – 5 days to provide transport support to relief efforts as required,” says Mr Key.
“New Zealand will also launch a $2.3 million initiative with the Philippines Red Cross to bolster disaster relief supplies for future events.
“The Philippines, like New Zealand, is extremely vulnerable to natural disaster. Pre-positioning supplies at various locations around the country will mean that relief items can get to affected communities without delay,” says Mr Key.
“This initiative is in addition to the $2.15 million already announced as New Zealand’s response to Typhoon Haiyan. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely, and will work with the Philippines Government to meet any further requests for assistance,” says Mr Key.
The C-130 will depart for the Philippines in the next couple of days.
The Prime Minister departs tomorrow for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka and an official visit to Thailand.Tweet
12 November 2013
PM announces new Director of Security, NZSIS
Prime Minister John Key today announced the appointment of Rebecca Kitteridge to the position of Director of Security, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS).
Ms Kitteridge will replace Dr Warren Tucker, who is retiring next year.
“Ms Kitteridge is a highly respected and professional public servant with experience in senior roles,” Mr Key says.
“She is currently Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council at the Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet (DPMC), and has served under four Prime Ministers and four Governors-General while at DPMC.
“Ms Kitteridge was also seconded to conduct a high profile compliance review of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) late last year.
“She will bring strong leadership skills, excellent relationship management skills and a highly collaborative approach to the role of Director of Security.
“Ms Kitteridge’s strong focus on improving systems and processes, while ensuring safeguards are in place, will also be an asset in the role,” Mr Key says.
The Director of Security is responsible directly to the Prime Minister as the Minister Responsible for the NZSIS.
Ms Kitteridge’s compliance review of the GCSB looked at whether the Bureau’s activities were undertaken within its powers and with appropriate safeguards in place.
In her current role as Cabinet Secretary she has direct responsibility for the Cabinet Office and oversight of the DPMC staff at Government House.
Previous to her DPMC roles, Ms Kitteridge spent four years in the Legal Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, four years as Crown Counsel on secondment to the Cabinet Office, and nine years as a private sector lawyer at Chapman Tripp and other law firms.
Ms Kitteridge is expected to commence as Director of Security when Dr Tucker’s term as Director comes to an end on 30 April 2014.
11 November 2013
PM attends CHOGM, leads SE Asia Trade Mission
Prime Minister John Key will travel to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting later this week, and then lead a business delegation to Thailand.
“New Zealand is an active member of the Commonwealth and a strong supporter of the values that bind the 53 member states,” says Mr Key.
“The Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting determines the Commonwealth’s activities and direction for the coming years, and is an opportunity to meet with leaders from countries that share a similar heritage.
“New Zealand is committed to strengthening the role the Commonwealth plays in international affairs as well as pushing for reforms that will make the organisation more focused and effective.”
Following the meeting in Colombo the Prime Minister will join a business delegation and lead a mission to promote New Zealand companies in Thailand.
“New Zealand has a lot to offer Thailand and a number of our businesses already have a strong presence in this market. However, there is more we can do, and my visit is aimed at opening doors and helping to profile New Zealand companies in Bangkok.
“I am looking forward to once again meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck in Thailand. Her country is an important partner for New Zealand in areas ranging from disaster risk management and scientific cooperation to trade and tourism development,” says Mr Key.
The Prime Minister and business delegation had been planning to travel on to Manila for two days, but senior officials in New Zealand and the Philippines are currently discussing the proposed visit in light of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
“I would like to offer President Aquino and the people of the Philippines New Zealand’s heartfelt condolences at the tragic loss of life, and to reinforce we remain committed to helping wherever we can.”
Today Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced a further contribution of $2 million to help relief efforts in the Philippines, which is additional to $150,000 announced over the weekend.
“I intend to call President Aquino and convey New Zealand’s condolences personally when he is able to take my call,” says Mr Key.
Prime Minister Key departs for Colombo on 15 November and returns to New Zealand on 22 November.