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NZ, Aus PMs reaffirm close trans-Tasman ties

Canberra, Feb 7 (IANS) Through New Zealand and Australia’s single economic market, people-to-people links and shared interests in the region and the world, the two nations are strongest when working side by side, visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said on Tuesday.

Meeting with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in Canberra, which was their first bilateral meeting, Hipkins said, “New Zealand has no closer partner than Australia”, reports Xinhua news agency

It was Hipkins’ first overseas visit since he took office last month, reflecting the close relationship between New Zealand and Australia, according to a New Zealand government statement.

The two leaders discussed the global economic challenges facing both countries and affecting New Zealanders and Australians alike, including rising inflation, the cost of living and the wide-ranging impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Hipkins said.

Cooperation and engagement in the Pacific region was also on the agenda, in particular the importance of working together to support Pacific partners facing a complex and growing array of challenges, including climate change, he said.

Hipkins said he is looking forward to hosting the Australia-New Zealand Leaders Meeting and Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum in July this year, which will provide further opportunities for trans-Tasman business and government leaders to connect.

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