National releases Foreign Affairs policy

A National-led Government would see New Zealand continue to pursue an independent and respected foreign policy, contributing to global and regional stability and creating successful trading arrangements.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Murray McCully released the National Party’s foreign affairs policy today.

“A National-led Government will continue to strengthen relationships with our traditional and emerging partners, place further focus on our aid efforts in the Pacific, and seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council,” says Mr McCully.

“Our policy approach builds on our achievements of the past three years. We have seen growing ties with China, now our second-largest trading relationship, a boosted relationship with the United States with the signing of the Wellington Declaration, and a step up in our relationship with the ASEAN nations.”

Speaking from Bali, Indonesia, where he is representing the Prime Minister at the East Asia Summit, Mr McCully said that ASEAN and Asia will continue to be a central focus of diplomatic efforts.

“An immediate focus in 2012 will be to maximise opportunities from the entry into force of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). Indonesia ratified the Agreement just days ago, meaning AANZFTA will be fully in force across the CER partners, Australia and New Zealand, and all 10 ASEAN nations – bringing New Zealand businesses into a market of 600 million people.

“With this architecture in place, our efforts will turn to trade missions and other initiatives designed to take advantage of the opportunities in the region.”