Jacinda Ardern is set to come to Australia's shores in July, in what will be New Zealand's first trade delegation since the pandemic began.
The Kiwi Prime Minister made the announcement today (May 13) and she will fly to Australia to 'further strengthen business ties with our trans-Tasman partners'.
She added that Trade Minister Damien O'Connor will also head over to London and Brussels next month to sort out free trade agreements.
"Securing high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive FTAs with the EU and UK expands our market opportunities, playing a big part in our Covid-19 trade recovery strategy and building on what have been long-standing traditional relationships," Ms Ardern said.
"These trips may not have been overly notable pre-Covid, but they are hugely significant in light of the domestic realities we've been experiencing, and the global ones that still persist.
"I can also assure you that when our key trading partners over and above Australia look to reopen their borders and we have greater movement between countries, I will look to lead delegations into Europe, the United States, China and the wider Asia-Pacific."
She added that, in accordance with the rules, the delegates will have to complete 14 days of isolation when they come back to New Zealand.
Ms Ardern made the announcement during a pre-budget press conference, where she also noted how New Zealand's economy has been tracking since the pandemic began.
While many countries have been economically eviscerated by Covid-19, the Prime Minister explained how harsh lockdowns prevented a worse outcome.
"Our March quarterly benefit statistics showed a record number of people have come off the benefit, with nearly 33,000 entering paid work," she said.
"Unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent in the first three months of the year, well down on the 6.5 percent forecast, and low when compared to the average jobless rate across the OECD, which sits at 6.7 percent, and with Australia, where it's 5.9.
"Exports remain resilient and firms also appear willing to invest more off the back of an improving environment, with imports of capital goods strengthening."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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