New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia
New Zealand Ambassador presents his credentials to ASEAN
New Zealand Ambassador HE David Taylor presented his Letter of Credentials to ASEAN Secretary General Dr Surin Pitsuwan at the ASEAN Secretariat on 2 August.
Ambassador Taylor looked forward to working towards the deepening and widening of the New Zealand-ASEAN relationship, which is one of the oldest dialogue partnerships with ASEAN, spanning 35 years.
“New Zealand is a close, long-standing friend of ASEAN, and the New Zealand Government has expressed its commitment to taking the relationship to the next level”, Ambassador Taylor said.
“New Zealand and ASEAN recently established a new Comprehensive Partnership, which will intensify cooperation in areas of mutual interest and further solidify an enduring friendship.”
In adopting the new Comprehensive Partnership in Ha Noi on 22 July, New Zealand Foreign Minister Hon Murry McCully announced a series of ‘flagship initiatives’ with ASEAN, including a revamped ASEAN scholarships programme, which will provide 170 scholarships annually to developing ASEAN countries. It will be the biggest scholarship scheme involving New Zealand since the Colombo Plan began in 1951.
Other new initiatives include a Young Business Leaders Exchange Programme, which will seek to develop a new generation of business relationships in the region to underpin the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) which came into force this year.
New Zealand will also launch programmes within ASEAN that cover agricultural development and disaster risk management, both areas where New Zealand expertise complements the needs of ASEAN member states.
“It is my privilege to serve as New Zealand’s Ambassador to ASEAN during such a dynamic period in the relationship,” Ambassador Taylor said during his credentials ceremony. “I look forward to working closely with Secretary General Surin and his staff, as well as the Committee of Permanent Representatives in Jakarta.”
Mr Taylor is also New Zealand’s Ambassador to Indonesia.