Trade and tourism are high on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s agenda as she visits Australia this week.
Ardern will attend a formal meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, attend the Australian and New Zealand Leadership Forum with a number of his ministers, and deliver a foreign policy speech at the Lowy Institute.
However, the visit is focused on trade and tourism and over 30 Kiwi business leaders have joined Ardern in Australia.
“This trade mission is one of many steps the government is taking to reconnect New Zealand with the world while actively strengthening partnerships between government, business and industry,” she said on Monday.
New Zealand has eased its restrictions on foreign visitors and other measures taken to control the spread of Covid-19 during the pandemic.
Ardern will meet tourism leaders from both countries in Sydney, where she will meet NSW Premier Dominic Perrotte.
She will also meet Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews in Melbourne for an ANZ Business Breakfast and New Zealand food and drink dinner.
Small Business and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash, who is among the ministers accompanying Ardern, said Australia is the country’s biggest source of visitors.
More than 1.55 million Australians crossed the Tasman Sea in 2019 and contributed more than $2.7 billion to the New Zealand economy, he said.
“With the reopening of our borders and the cancellation of pre-departure testing, we have created a significant opportunity for tourism to recover as we welcome the return of our Australian friends,” he said.