Primary Industries Minister departs for Europe tonight for a series of meetings with his European and United Kingdom counterparts and to address the Forum for the Future of Agriculture in Brussels, Belgium.

“New Zealand has close ties with Europe and the UK and this trip will build on this,” says Mr Guy.

“These relationships are increasingly important to us as we work towards a free trade agreement with the European Union and, longer term, forge a new agreement for our trade with the UK following its departure from the EU.”

Mr Guy will be visiting Lithuania, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ireland for a wide range of meetings with government and industry representatives. He will also deliver a keynote address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture which brings together key agricultural interests from across Europe to discuss challenges facing the agriculture sector.

While in Ireland Mr Guy will be highlighting the recent announcement that New Zealand will be opening an embassy in Dublin to help build our long term relationship between the two countries. This is part of the Government’s Trade Agenda 2030 announced yesterday.

Over the course of a week Mr Guy will meet with government counterparts in each capital as well as various Members of the European Parliament in Brussels to advocate New Zealand as an important agricultural partner to the UK and EU. He will also meet with a range of farming groups including the National Farmers Union and Farmers Club in the UK.

“This is an opportunity to build understanding of New Zealand’s role in international agricultural trade and investment, and to highlight the benefits free markets can deliver for sectors like agri-businesses in the EU, UK and New Zealand.”

Mr Guy returns to New Zealand on 2 April.

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