PM off to Sin­ga­pore and PNG

The Dominion Post - - News - Hamish Ruther­ford hamish.ruther­

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.

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