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PBBM welcomes New Zealand minister

PRESIDENT Marcos Jr. yesterday discussed with New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters geopolitical issues affecting the Indo-Pacific region, and strengthening cooperation between Manila and Wellington in the areas of agriculture, trade, and investment.

“We agreed on many things, and one of which was that the situation in our part of the world requires that, shall we say, the smaller countries get together and have a response or a joint positioning when it comes to these geopolitical issues… these complicated geopolitical issues that we are facing,” said Marcos who welcomed Peters in Malacañang.

He also said he expects Peters to get in touch with executives of private companies to capitalize on the agreements that he and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon discussed during the latter’s official visit to Manila in April.

Marcos said he and Luxon also talked about agriculture, trade, and possible investments, as well as ongoing expansion and operations in New Zealand.

Peters, who arrived in Manila on Monday, said his visit aims to elevate the relations between New Zealand and the Philippines into a comprehensive partnership by 2026, as previously discussed by Marcos and Luxon.

Aside from Marcos, Peters also met with Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, and Senate President Francis Escudero.

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

Last year, New Zealand ranked as the Philippines’ 28th trading partner out of 230 partners, with total trade amounting to US$495.37 million.