New Zealand High Commission Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

New ASEAN initiatives Practical and Imaginative - press release 26 July 2010

The initiatives announced by Foreign Minister McCully in Vietnam this week have been welcomed by the ASEAN New Zealand Combined Business Council (ANZCBC).

The Minister, during his trip to Viet Nam for several ASEAN meetings, announced four areas where New Zealand would support ASEAN's development plans.

These include the provision of 100 new education scholarships for developing ASEAN nations, a young Business Leaders Exchange Programme and new programmes in agricultural development and disaster risk management.

"The ties between New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN states are strengthening almost by the day" said ANZCBC Chairman, Stuart Walbridge, "and we have been discussing with the Government for some time how support can be given in a practical and imaginative way, to ensure that we are adding true value to the ambitious development plans of our trading partners, whilst utilising the skills and experience of our most talented service providers."

ANZCBC members have benefited for decades in terms of facilitated business from former participants on the Colombo plan and the Council expects the new scholarships to produce similar good results.

It has particularly advocated an exchange programme for Young Business Leaders. "This is about engaging with young business people now but building strong networks to safeguard our future trade as these young leaders make their way to the top of their organisations," continued Mr Walbridge.

ANZCBC also strongly welcomes the simultaneous announcement by Minister McCully of the bilateral action plan with Viet Nam.  The Council is planning a trade mission to this rapidly growing market of huge potential to New Zeaalnd in November/December this year.

For futher information:

ANZCBC Director, David Catty
ANZCBC Chairman, Stuart Walbridge



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