New Zealand's Good Neighbor Policy
New Zealand to be 'better Asian neighbour'
New Zealand will step up relations with Asian countries under a revitalised foreign policy initiative unveiled by the government.
"New Zealand must invest more time and effort into strengthening its ties with Asia," it said in a framework document launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Foreign Minister Winston Peters at parliament.The document noted that competition for Asia's attention was intensifying as the region's dynamic growth, fuelled by China and India, continued.
"No matter what the area of interest - business, politics, education, culture - building strong relationships is vital."
"If New Zealand is to keep pace with developments in Asia, we will have to lift our game," it said.Noting that it was not easy for a small country like New Zealand (population 4.2 million) to deal with a vast and diverse region like Asia, the government called for a "New Zealand Inc" approach combining state and private resources.
"New Zealand has to accelerate the tempo of relationships with the region - politically, economically and socially."
It said that New Zealand businesses were not increasing exports to Asia at the same rate as Asian economies were growing.
The government said that New Zealand faced four specific challenges:
- To better integrate into a region where countries and economies are progressively becoming more integrated,
- To be a good neighbour and international citizen by working with Asian nations on regional issues,
- To link trade and services more closely with growth and dynamism of the region, and
- To become more "Asia literate" by developing Asian language and cultural skills as a priority.