NZ to open embassies in Ireland, Sri Lanka

by Sol Dolor27 Mar 2017
New Zealand will be opening embassies in Ireland and Sri Lanka as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Trade Agenda 2030.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced that the government will open an embassy in Dublin, Ireland, and a high commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The government, through its budget for the year, has allotted $29m for both diplomatic missions.

It has committed $4.8m to establish the embassy in Dublin, and a further $9.1m for operating costs over the next four years. It has also earmarked $6.2m to establish the high commission in Colombo, and a further $8.9m for operating expenses over the next four years.

The government, which did not disclose when the two embassies will open, made the announcements as part of the launch of Trade Agenda 2030. Under the plan, the government aims to have 90% of all of the country’s goods exports to be covered by free trade agreements by 2030.

“Ireland is an important member of the European Union, so the Embassy will also support New Zealand’s interests in Europe, including as they relate to the negotiation of a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU,” McCully said.

He also said that the country and Ireland already enjoy a warm relationship. Both work closely together on issues such as climate change, disarmament, and human rights.

McCully said that the high commission in Colombo will aid in rebuilding Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka is rebuilding after a generation-long civil war, and we are keen to support that process politically and through a broader economic relationship. It is a growing economy, has a major dairy market and has expressed its interest in learning further about farming from New Zealand,” McCully said. “Sri Lanka offers increasing value and diversity to our exporters, and is a trade gateway to a fast-growing part of Asia.”

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