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New Zealand, Fiji to strengthen partnership

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New Zealand, Fiji to strengthen partnership

Wellington, June 6 (IANS) New Zealand and Fiji leaders met on Thursday to discuss how to further strengthen their partnership and canvass a range of issues, including defence and regional security, trade, and people-to-people links.

“Fiji is a critical partner for New Zealand, and we look to Fiji for its leadership in the Pacific,” New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said after meeting with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka in the Fijian capital Suva.

According to a joint statement by the two leaders which set ambitious goals for future cooperation, the two sides have joint aspiration to grow the trade and investment opportunities between New Zealand and Fiji, with a goal of lifting two-way trade to 2 billion NZ dollars ($1.24 billion) by 2030, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two-way trade currently worth nearly 1.4 billion NZ dollars ($870 million), which remains a significant opportunity for growth that will benefit both countries, Luxon said.

The New Zealand government will remove the requirement for Fijian nationals transiting through New Zealand to have a transit visa, which is expected to have a positive economic impact for the region, said the New Zealand Prime Minister.

“Many Fijian nationals travel through New Zealand to reach other destinations in the Pacific and around the world,” Luxon added.

New Zealand also announced readiness to fund climate, sustainability, and economic resilience initiatives in Fiji through New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation program.


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