Here’s hoping Ardern gets to meet Biden during US trade visit – and O’Connor finds time to check out gene-editing benefits

New Zealand’s  export industries are looking  to a  new  era in the  wake of life returning to something like  normal in international markets.

The  Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, will head a  mission to the  US to promote trade and tourism opportunities in our third largest export and visitor market, saying this is part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19.

Ardern  is  certain  to  attract  international  attention   with  her  scheduled commencement address at the 371st Harvard University Commencement ceremony.

But the  more  crucial engagement will  be  at  the  White  House for  talks  with  President Biden,  who is now in Asia.

As she  departs  Auckland, the timing  of  the  White  House  meeting   is  still  uncertain  but NZ  diplomats  are  working hard  to  ensure  it  takes  place.

Ardern says New Zealand’s relationship with the United States is one of the most enduring and significant.

“The United States relationship is fundamental to us in political and security terms . In a world of increasing challenges, we need to work closely with friends who share our values, so this is an important trip to be making right now”.

 She  says a big focus of the trip will be supporting business linkages and technology partnerships with US innovators that have the potential to accelerate New Zealand’s sustainable economic recovery.

“The United States is our third largest trading partner and is our largest market for services. US firms are planning multi-billion dollar investments in cloud computing capability in New Zealand which will unlock big growth opportunities for digital exports to the world and we want to see more of that.

“We’ve seen very positive growth in our exports to the United States, with an emphasis on high value products, such as digital services.

“The United States is a sophisticated market where New Zealand’s clean, green and sustainable brand attracts a premium, both for our food and beverage products, but also our technology and innovation services.The US was our third largest tourist market for arrivals pre COVID-19, and with travellers planning their visits months before coming in the New Zealand summer now is the right time to be visible in the US market letting American’s know we are open for business and travel.”

The Prime Minister will visit New York, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.

She  is being  accompanied by one of  her  most  effective ministers, Damien O’Connor.

In  New  York they  will attend a launch event for sustainable meat exports.

Point  of  Order believes   a  priority  for  O’Connor  – wearing  his  Agriculture  hat – should be to study how gene editing  research might lead  to animals emitting lesser  volumes  of  methane.

California is a world leader in green technology,  the  kind  of technology that will be essential to New Zealand’s efforts to meet  our carbon emissions reduction targets.

Ardern   has  a  scheduled  meeting  with California’s Governor Newsom  which  she  says will be an opportunity to discuss ways of combating climate change.

The Prime Minister will also meet top technology executives from Twitter, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to discuss investment, skills development for New Zealanders in the tech industries, digital cooperation and to further Christchurch Call objectives.

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