Queenstown’s MP Bill English – also the Finance Minister – is off to Europe to assess the global economic environment.
English, also the Deputy Prime Minister, leaves tonight for heavyweight powwows with overseas meetings with business, investment and political leaders – he’ll also be at the annual meeting of International Monetary Fund and World Bank governors in Tokyo.
English says it’s clear the global economic situation remains uncertain and that many countries still face considerable challenges.
“Compared to many developed economies, New Zealand is relatively well placed. But the challenges faced in Europe will have an impact on NZ, and I expect that to continue for some time.
“So I’m keen to hear first-hand from the policy makers and business people dealing directly with these deep-seated issues.”
In London this week, English is to meet Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, chief secretary to the UK Treasury Danny Alexander and other government figures.
Next week in Germany, English will visit the Airbus Industries operation in Hamburg and meet NZ business people active in Europe.
In Frankfurt, he will visit the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank and Deutsche Bank, before speaking at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair on 9 October. New Zealand is guest of honour and has a pavilion at the fair, the world’s largest annual publishing event, which will provide significant business and trade opportunities for this country.
English returns to NZ on 14 October.