World / Asia-Pacific

New Zealand PM to raise security, trade in Asia, Pacific forums

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-29 13:17

WELLINGTON - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will be discussing security and trade at two important Asia-Pacific regional forums next week.

Key said Monday he would travel first to Laos for the East Asia Summit in Vientiane.

"The East Asia Summit brings together leaders from across the Asia-Pacific to discuss ways to address important regional and international issues including maritime security and counter terrorism," Key said in a statement.

"It also provides an excellent opportunity to meet with the leaders of some of our most important economic and security partners to further those ties."

Key would also meet with Prime Minister Thongloun of Laos.

"Our two countries already share a strong relationship, working together on important issues like the removal of unexploded ordnance and tourism development in Laos. I look forward to building on that further."

Key would then travel to Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia, to attend the 47th annual Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting.

"Discussions at this year's forum will focus on key regional issues, including climate change, economic integration and sustainable fisheries management," Key said.

"New Zealand values the opportunity to meet with our Pacific partners to build on our efforts to address the issues affecting our region."

Last week, New Zealand hosted trade representatives from 16 island nations for crucial talks towards finalizing the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) trade and development agreement.

At the meeting New Zealand and Australia announced a joint funding package worth 7.7 million AU dollars (5.28 million U.S. dollars) to help Pacific Island countries with their domestic ratification processes.

The legal text of the agreement was agreed and ministers agreed to conclude remaining market access negotiations by the end of October and sign the agreement by the end of this year.

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