The Prime Minister, John Key, attended the ASEAN meeting in Cambodia earlier this week. ASEAN is the Association of South-East Asian Nations. There were many South -East Asian leaders and others who are interested in Asia, including President Obama and Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister. John Key was especially interested in a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which could become a free-trade agreement.
Another possible trade partnership is called RCEP – Regional Comprehensive Economic Plan. This includes China, India and Japan. New Zealand would like to have a free trade agreement with Japan. This is our 4th largest trading country.
After the ASEAN meeting, John Key visited Burma. He met Aung San Suu Kyi who said she wanted to thank New Zealanders for their support during Burma’s struggles for democracy. She hopes to visit New Zealand one day.
John Key gave a $6m donation to Burma to help with dairy farming. The President of Burma (the country is also called Myanmar) will visit NZ next month. He wants to learn more about agriculture, especially dairy farming.
Trans-Pacific – an agreement between countries in the Pacific
regional – a region is an area
comprehensive – include all or most of the countries in the area
trading country – we buy imports from this country and sell our exports to this country
donation – gift of money
1. What do you know about Cambodia? Is it a democracy today?
2. This is the first visit of a NZ Prime Minister to Burma which was a closed country. What is changing in Burma?
3. Why does Burma have two names?
4. What is the advantage of a free-trade agreement?