Secretary of Foreign Affairs meets New Zealand Trade Minister
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario met with New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser on June 5.
Minister Groser is in the Philippines on a 3-day business mission from June 4 to 6. He is accompanied by a business delegation representing the sectors of ICT, aviation, education, geothermal energy, food and dairy, logistics, and manufacturing.
The Secretary took the opportunity to reiterate the Philippines’ appreciation for New Zealand’s assistance in response to typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) as well as its development assistance in the areas of education, disaster risk management, and agriculture. He expressed the Philippines’ earnest desire to welcome the New Zealand Prime Minister to the country soon. PM John Key had scheduled to undertake his official visit in November 2013, but cancelled citing concern that it “would place undue pressure on the Philippine Government at a critical time of the relief and recovery phase” following Yolanda.
Minister Groser noted the strong economic performance of the Philippines. He also said the Philippines could be a “significant partner” for New Zealand, specifically in the services sector, given the Philippines’ growing young and educated population. The “weightless economy” which focuses on telecommunications and information technology poses a good opportunity for further growth for both countries, utilising the Philippines’ highly capable and skilled workforce and New Zealand’s expertise and technology.
The two ministers expressed confidence in the continued success of Philippines-New Zealand relations.