Jacinda Ardern will depart New Zealand on Monday evening to lead a trade mission to the United States as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post-Covid.

However, whether she will visit the White House to meet President Joe Biden remains unclear, due to Covid protocols.

She will be joined by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and business leaders from technology and tourism firms as well as innovative food companies Silver Fern Farms, Fonterra and Zespri.

Pre-Covid-19, tourists from the US comprised 10% of arrivals to New Zealand.

“New Zealand’s relationship with the United States is one of our most enduring and significant. This mission will feature political and security engagement as well as tourism and trade promotion,” Ardern said.

“A big focus of the trip will be supporting business linkages and technology partnerships with US innovators that have the potential to accelerate New Zealand’s sustainable economic recovery.”

Ardern will visit New York, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle.

While she will spend most of her trip meeting with business leaders and politicians, she is also the speaker at the 371st Harvard Commencement ceremony.

“The United States is also sophisticated market where New Zealand’s clean, green and sustainable brand attracts a premium, both for our food and beverage products, but also our technology and innovation services,” Ardern said.

“The US was our third largest tourist market for arrivals pre-Covid-19, with travellers planning their visits months before coming in the New Zealand summer, so now is the right time to be visible in the US market letting American’s know we are open for business and travel.”

In San Francisco, Ardern with meet with Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California to discuss ways in which the United States and New Zealand can work together to combat climate change.

The Prime Minister will also meet top technology from Twitter, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to discuss skills development for New Zealanders in the tech industries, digital cooperation and to further Christchurch Call objectives.

She’ll also appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.


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