PM looks ahead to Key meeting

THE Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and his New Zealand counterpart John Key will meet today in Wellington.

Mr Bainimarama said he wanted to build a much stronger partnership with John Key and his ministers.

“You have heard me say this morning (yesterday) that I want to build a much stronger partnership with John Key and his ministers,” he said yesterday.

“But I do want to highlight the great opportunities that I think await us as we transform the political and diplomatic relationship between Fiji and New Zealand and finally get it to match the strong commercial and personal ties that have always existed between us.

“I want to say in advance of that meeting that I deeply appreciated Mr Key’s gesture in coming to Suva back in June, where we had our first encounter and were able to give the Prime Minister a warm Fijian welcome,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He said he was gratified to be able to convey to Mr Key, face-to-face, the absolute gratitude of the Fijian people for New Zealand’s assistance in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in February.

Mr Bainimarama said New Zealand was an important market for Fiji.

“Two way trade in goods and services on average is worth almost $F700 million a year. And in terms of our tourism industry and Fiji’s biggest revenue earner, New Zealand is our second largest source market.”

More than 120,000 Kiwis visit Fiji annually.

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