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Cabinet Paper CAB-19-SUB-0186: Proposed Overseas Travel: Hon Shane Jones
1I seek Cabinet approval to travel to Denarau Island, Fiji from 2 May 2019 to 4 May 2019 to attend the 2019 annual meeting (‘Annual Meeting’) of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (‘ADB’).
2In principle approval from the Prime Minister has been sought and House leave has been approved from the Party Whip.
Purpose of Travel
3The Annual Meeting is a five day meeting in Denarau Island, Fiji. The meetings offer a range of opportunities to develop relationships with a broad audience of Ministers of finance and development, central bank governors, private sector and civil society organisations, media, academia, and development partners. I intend to attend three days of these meetings.
4The timing and location of the Annual Meeting is important. Some members of the ADB are currently questioning whether the ADB should alter the way it provides grant funding in a way that may detriment the Pacific Island nations. The Annual Meeting will be the first one to be held in the Pacific Islands, and will provide a strong platform to defend the ADB’s current funding model. It will also allow me to push New Zealand’s broader Pacific Reset policy and build support for APEC 2021.
5My programme currently contains a range of options to engage in the Annual Meeting including speaking at the business session of the Annual Meeting, which will allow me to push New Zealand’s objectives in the Pacific.
6Senior figures from the Asia-Pacific region will attend the Annual Meeting, so there will be an opportunity to engage in bilateral discussions with Ministerial counterparts and key executives at the ADB.
7Potential options for my programme include bilateral discussions with finance Ministers from a number of Pacific Island nations, Ministers from Malaysia and Indonesia, and the President and a Vice President of the ADB.
8The objectives of these bilateral discussions will be to:
8.1promote New Zealand’s priorities as the representative of New Zealand’s Governor at the ADB, including New Zealand’s lift in ambition and investment in the Pacific;
8.2share and gain policy insights and strengthen bilateral relationships in the Pacific, particularly with finance Ministers;
8.3build relationships to support New Zealand’s hosting of APEC 2021 and to get buy-in to the agenda and ministerial attendance;
8.4engage with Pacific counterparts to build awareness of and momentum on the Pacific Reset; and
8.5encourage Pacific Island nations to ratify or sign (as applicable) PACER Plus.