Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

Minister Steven Joyce congratulates ASEAN 40 award winners in the Philippines

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The Philippine Embassy and the Filipino Community in New Zealand convey our heartfelt congratulation to the Filipino recipients of the NZ ASEAN 40th Awards, namely, Mr. Donald G. Dee, Ms. Ethel Hope L. Dignadice-Villaflor, Mr. Richard B. Tantoco, Mr. Wilfred Steven Uytengsu and Mr. Philip C. Yao. Hon. Steven Joyce, Economic Development Minister of New Zealand presented the awards at a ceremony in Manila on 3 August 2015 where he highlighted 40 years of continuing close and deep partnership between New Zealand and ASEAN.

Minister Joyce’s successful and productive visit to the Manila on 03-04 August 2015 strengthened the people based relationships of the Philippines and New Zealand and opened more doors for closer, deeper and mutually beneficial cooperation in business, education, trade, tourism, investment and people-to-people linkages.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has congratulated the five Filipino’s who were awarded NZ ASEAN 40th awards at a ceremony in Manila last night.

“Five influential friends of New Zealand here in the Philippines, who have all made a significant contribution to the relationship between our two countries were deserving recipients of the honour,” says Mr Joyce.

“The NZ ASEAN Awards tell the story of our relationship with each country in the ASEAN region,” says Mr Joyce.

This year New Zealand is commemorating 40 years of ties with ASEAN.

“ASEAN is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner. In the past five years, New Zealand’s trade with ASEAN has grown at a rate second only to China.

“This commemorative year is an opportunity to remember our shared history, and look to a strong future together,” says Mr Joyce.

The Philippines was a founding member of ASEAN. In 2016 New Zealand and the Philippines will celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations.

Mr Joyce also met with Secretary of Finance, Cesar Purisima, and Secretary of Socio-economic Planning, Arsenio Balisacan in Manila.

“My discussions focused on the Philippines’ economic success story in recent years. Last year it was the second fastest growing economy in Asia."

Mr Joyce met with a number of New Zealand businesses in the Philippines and with the heads of companies that have invested in New Zealand.

“The potential for deepening our business links with the Philippines is considerable. The Philippines offers a market of over 100 million people and an educated, English-speaking, workforce.

“Our people links are behind growing connections in business, education, and between our governments. Over 40,000 Filipino’s live and work in New Zealand, making valuable contributions across the workforce- particularly on the Christchurch rebuild.”

He also met with the President of the Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao, and discussed work the Bank is doing to support public-private partnerships and “economic corridors”.

The Philippines is the host of APEC in 2015.

Mr Joyce next travels to Viet Nam, for meetings and events in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, 5–7 August.


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