Forum advances Japan New Zealand links

by | May 16, 2008 | Media Releases

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The first ever Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum which closed in Tokyo yesterday (15 May) has met its objective of strengthening the business and economic relationship with Japan.

Forum Co-Chair Hon Philip Burdon said that the Forum had been energised by Prime Minister Helen Clark’s announcement that Japan and New Zealand would initiate a study on a possible Economic Partnership Arrangement (EPA).

“The proposed study was a dramatic development on the eve of the Forum’s opening.  This set the scene for a highly productive meeting.  Delegates came away from the event resolved to continuing and expanding the dialogue the Forum had begun.

“This Forum gave some concrete indicators of where the partnership with Japan can be deepened.  We are likeminded on the need for new economic structures to accommodate change in the Asia Pacific region. We see the potential for innovation bridges to be built between our two countries.  We also see great benefit from joint approaches to addressing climate change and sustainability.

“This was a substantive, forward-looking and stimulating event.”

NZ International Business Forum Chairman Graeme Harrison said the event had exceeded expectations in terms of the Japanese attendance and the quality of the discussion.

“The Forum was designed to capture the imagination of a range of players in moving the relationship forward and the high level attendance on both sides indicates that there is plenty of scope to build on this first gathering.

“The Forum has already been successful in exposing some key Japanese leaders and opinion formers about the value of co-operation with New Zealand.  The chemistry at the meeting was excellent and we will see the impact of the Forum in coming years.

“Our Co-Chairs have suggested we meet again within the next 12 to 18 months and the International Business Forum will certainly take up this suggestion”.

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