The third US NZ Partnership Forum will be held in Washington DC 6-8 October 2009, the two counterpart organizations US NZ Council and NZ US Council said today.
" The 2009 Forum will be an extraordinary opportunity for NZ Inc to engage with the incoming Administration and Congress”, said NZ US Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.
"We need to take the strongest possible team to Washington to support the negotiation of the free trade agreement which gets underway early next year”.
US NZ Council President John Mullen, who is visiting New Zealand this week, said the Forum would build on the success of the previous two events in Washington (April 2006) and Auckland (September 2007).
"The Partnership Forum has been instrumental in taking the US NZ relationship to a new level. Not only are we friends and allies once again, we are also starting to negotiate an FTA in the context of the Trans Pacific Partnership".
"I expect our discussions next year to focus on trade, security and sustainability as well as the stage we will have reached with responding to the financial crisis".
Mr Jacobi said participation in the invitation only event would be extended by the two Councils and would comprise corporate members of both Councils, politicians and senior officials and civil society representatives.
Mr Mullen said that while all countries will be focusing considerable attention to developing dialogue with the Obama Administration and the new Congress, October would be a good time for New Zealand to make a powerful statement about the country’s interest in a new partnership in the context of the Trans Pacific negotiations.