PM off to Singapore and PNG
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will spend most of the coming week overseas, with international summits in Singapore and Papua New Guinea.
On Tuesday, Ardern will lead a New Zealand delegation to Singapore for the East Asia Summit, attended by leaders of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States Vice-President Mike Pence and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Ardern said she would focus on building trading relationships and discussing security issues.
‘‘New Zealand has benefited greatly from taking collaborative approaches to both security and trade issues,’’ Ardern said. ‘‘We will continue to support the international rules and systems that protect and support this because it contributes to our prosperity and security.’’
Ardern will be joined in Singapore by Foreign Minister Winston Peters, while Cabinet colleague Damien O’Connor will also visit Singapore next week for a ministerial meeting for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed trade deal spanning much of Asia and Oceania.
The main issues to be discussed at the East Asia Summit are expected to be progress on North Korea, as well as how to manage disputes in the South China Sea.
‘‘The East Asia Summit has a role to play in preventing and solving the region’s most pressing strategic risks,’’ Ardern said.
After a day of bilateral meetings and events in Singapore, on Friday the delegation will head to Papua New Guinea, where Apec is being hosted in Port Moresby for the first time.
During her visit to PNG, Ardern is expected to visit Gordon Market, the largest produce market in the Pacific.