New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Thursday that his country will seek to strengthen communication with the United States on strategic and security challenges, while seeking to unleash the potential of their economic relationship.
“As a small democracy with deep connections across the region and a focus on regional security and prosperity, New Zealand has a critical role to play in promoting shared values in our part of the world and around the world. Increasing opportunity and economic performance,” Peters said in a speech at the Business Summit. American in Auckland.
This was Mr. Peters’ first speech as Foreign Minister in the current government. New Zealand elected a centre-right government in October, and Peters, who leads the New Zealand First party, has twice served as foreign minister.
New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon, has described the country’s foreign policy as partisan. The new government is not expected to change its policy significantly.
However, Mr Peters said in his speech that he believed New Zealand and the United States could do more together, more quickly, to advance the shared interests and values of our two countries.
“We know that the speed and intensity needed to meet today’s challenges will require all of us to step forward. New Zealand is ready to do our part,” he said.
This can be done through intentional and vigilant attention to New Zealand’s contribution to international and regional security challenges, he said, as the country needs to “throw our weight where we can make the greatest impact”.
Peters said he would like to see the two countries working together to maximize the value and not just the volume of their bilateral trade, by encouraging business-to-business relationships and working to strengthen supply chains.
Mr Luxon, who also spoke at the event, said he wanted New Zealand to look outward, TVNZ reported.
“I don’t think we have dealt with the world the way we should, the way we could, the way we have done in the past,” he said at the summit.
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