Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges, National’s Defence spokesperson Mark Mitchell, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee and New Zealand’s first Filipino MP Paulo Garcia will tomorrow travel to the Philippines.
“New Zealand’s connection to the Philippines is becoming stronger all the time. There are around 68,000 Filipinos living in New Zealand, they are hardworking and valued members of our community.
“The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia Pacific region. It’s our 17th largest export destination, with our exports worth $880 million. There are many areas where we could work together to improve this.
“During the three day visit to Manila, Mr Bridges and his delegation will visit New Zealanders living in the Philippines, Asia New Zealand Business Leaders and Alumni.
“The delegation will meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Francisco Moreno Domagoso, former boxer turned Senator Manny Pacquiao, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
“This trip will help us form our trade policies. We will strengthen our diplomatic relationships, show our support for New Zealand business, foster relationships and reinforce our long friendly relationship with the Philippines.”