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.