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14 November 2014
Prime Minister to attend G20 Leaders’ Summit

Prime Minister John Key is attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit as an invited guest and will travel to Brisbane tomorrow.

“It’s an honour to have been invited as a guest of Australia and I’m proud New Zealand will be represented alongside the G20 nations,” says Mr Key

Finance Minister Bill English has also been invited to participate and will attend the B20 summit involving Finance Ministers from the G20 nations.

“This year’s G20 will cover a range of global economic issues, notably strengthening growth and job creation and building global economic resilience. These themes fit New Zealand’s own economic priorities.”

The G20 economies make up 85 percent of global economic activity and 75 percent of global trade. Fourteen of New Zealand’s top 20 bilateral trading partners are at the G20 meeting.

“New Zealand’s economic prospects are closely intertwined with those of G20 member countries,” says Mr Key.

New Zealand is not a formal member of the G20 grouping because of its size but has been involved in a full year of engagements culminating in the forthcoming final meeting as an invited guest of Australia.

“I intend to use my participation in the Leaders’ Summit to get a sense of global leaders’ economic concerns and how they are responding to these challenges,” says Mr Key.

The Summit also provides an opportunity to promote New Zealand’s economic policy credentials and raise our profile as a good place to do trade and do business.

“As well as attending all the main leaders’ events, I look forward to engaging bilaterally with counterparts from the G20 and supporting Prime Minister Abbott in delivering a successful G20 presidency,” says Mr Key.

The Prime Minister departs for Brisbane on Saturday 15 November and returns 16 November.

Note: The G20 grouping includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Union.

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13 November 2014
NZ upgrades diplomatic mission in Myanmar

Prime Minister John Key today announced that New Zealand has upgraded its diplomatic mission in Yangon, Myanmar to a full Embassy.

“Our relationship with Myanmar has been developing quickly in response to the political and economic reforms initiated there in 2011,” Mr Key says.

“New Zealand opened an Embassy office in late 2013, and the decision to upgrade to a full Embassy reflects the strong and growing relationship.

“The current Chargé d’Affaires Bruce Shepherd will now become our first resident Ambassador to Myanmar.

“We have significantly increased our development relationship with Myanmar in the last two years. Our aid and development programme is currently worth around $4 million annually and is focused on agriculture and disaster risk management.

“We welcome Myanmar’s reintegration into the international community following the start of its reform process.  Myanmar’s successful chairing of the ASEAN and EAS regional meetings this year are an important milestone,” Mr Key says.

Prime Minister Key is currently in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, to attend the East Asia Summit meeting.

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12 November 2014
PM opens NZ Consulate-General in Chengdu

Prime Minister John Key today opened the New Zealand Consulate-General in the Western Chinese city of Chengdu.

“New Zealand is among the first group of countries in the world to open a diplomatic post in Chengdu,” Mr Key says.

“This is a natural continuation of our expanding and increasingly close relationship with China.

“China is now our largest export market, as well as our largest source of imports.   Two-way trade with China exceeded $20 billion annually in May this year, ahead of the 2015 target. Earlier this year, President Xi and I agreed to set a new and more ambitious target of $30 billion by 2020.”

The Consulate-General in Chengdu is one of six new posts the Government has opened since 2008. The others are in Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Myanmar, Barbados and Honolulu.

“New Zealand’s economic prosperity relies on selling our goods and services to the rest of the world, and having good relationships with other countries, so we are working hard to ensure we have right level of resources in the right places to assist our exporters in the markets they are operating in,” Mr Key says.

The Chengdu post will have six staff and will have moved from the current temporary site into permanent premises by 2016.

Mr Key now heads to Myanmar for the East Asian Summit.

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05 November 2014
President of China to visit New Zealand

The President of the People’s Republic of China, HE Xi Jinping, is to make an extended visit to New Zealand following the G20 meeting of world leaders in Australia next week.

Prime Minister John Key announced today that President Xi, along with a large delegation, will make a state visit to New Zealand from 19 November to 21 November.

“New Zealand is looking forward to hosting the President. It will be an opportunity to highlight the depth of our strengthening relationship and in particular the rapid growth of our trading relationship in recent years,” says Mr Key.

It is the first visit by a Chinese head of state to New Zealand since President Hu Jintao’s visit in 2003.

The President will also be accompanied by his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan.

He will visit both Auckland and Wellington for a series of official engagements, including events which will showcase the bilateral trade, economic and cultural links between our two countries.

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05 November 2014
Canadian Prime Minister to visit New Zealand

Prime Minister John Key has announced Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make an official visit to New Zealand next week.

The Rt Hon Stephen Harper, the first Canadian leader to visit here in almost 20 years, will be in Auckland for official talks and engagements on Friday 14 November, prior to his travel to the G20 meeting in Australia.

“New Zealand and Canada have a longstanding and warm relationship which has seen us work closely together over many years,” says Mr Key.

“I look forward to meeting with the Prime Minister. We will discuss a range of international issues of mutual interest such as New Zealand’s recent appointment to the United Nations Security Council.”

The Canadian Prime Minister will be formally welcomed at Government House, participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and attend the bilateral talks.

Prime Minister Key visited Canada in 2010.