Marcos meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Luxon

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Luxon
^ Headlines Amid sea threat, Marcos Jr. rallies allies Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star March 1, 2024 | 12:00am facebook sharing button messenger sharing button twitter sharing button vuukle comment Amid sea threat, Marcos Jr. rallies allies President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos addresses the Australian Parliament at the Chamber of House of Representatives in Canberra.
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MANILA, Philippines — New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is scheduled to meet with President Marcos at Malacañang today, the final leg of a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia that seeks to strengthen his country’s overseas engagements.

Luxon’s official visit signifies the importance of the Philippines and Marcos’ development agenda, outgoing New Zealand Ambassador Peter Francis Tavita Kell was quoted by a Presidential Communications Office (PCO) statement as saying.

“He (Luxon) has been very clear, that he wants to come to the Philippines. He knows the Philippines, as you’ve explained. And he knows that it’s important,” Kell said during his farewell call on Marcos at Malacañang yesterday.

“And he knows what you’re trying to do and he wants to support. Putting it simply… his mission is to show the rest of his delegation, 25 top business leaders. They should be doing more in this part of the world, they should be doing more in the Philippines,” he added.

The meeting between the two leaders will take place this afternoon. It will be the first visit by a New Zealand prime minister to the Philippines in 14 years.

Before visiting the Philippines, Luxon traveled to Singapore and Thailand.

In a recent statement, Luxon said he was looking forward to reconnecting with Marcos, to advancing their two countries’ relationship of nearly 60 years and to scoping more opportunities for New Zealand businesses.

“The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and expected to be a top 20 global economy by 2050,” the Kiwi leader said.

Luxon will be accompanied by a business delegation, Simon Watts, the minister of climate change and revenue, and Paulo Garcia, New Zealand’s first Filipino member of parliament.

“His visit will highlight the two countries’ commitment to stronger ties as they move towards the 60th commemoration in 2026 of the establishment of their bilateral relations,” the PCO said.

New Zealand is home to over 100,000 Filipinos, according to a statement released by its government.

The Philippines and New Zealand established formal diplomatic relations on July 6, 1966.

Last year, New Zealand ranked as the Philippines’ 28th trading partner with total trade reaching $495.37 million. It is also the country’s 38th export destination and 24th import source.

The Philippines has a $361.94-million trade deficit with New Zealand.

A total of 29,272 tourists from New Zealand visited the Philippines last year, higher than 17,503 in 2022, making New Zealand the country’s 22nd source of tourists.

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