MALAYSIA, 26 October 2017: The New Zealand High Commission has launched the Discover Aotearoa New Zealand Festival at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur today to highlight the very best New Zealand has to offer in the areas of trade, education, tourism and culture.
With the support of the New Zealand Government through Manat? Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Cultural Diplomacy International Programme, the festival is held in celebration of New Zealand and Malaysia’s 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. It also seeks to promote the best of New Zealand’s rich and varied culture, art, tourism, education and food and beverage.
In his opening speech, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, H.E. Dr John Subritzky, said, “Formed almost immediately after Merdeka in 1957, New Zealand’s relationship with Malaysia is one of our oldest in Southeast Asia, and is based on strong ties in trade, education, security, defence and tourism.
“For the year ending September 2017, Malaysian visitor arrivals grew by 68% in two years while holiday arrivals doubled in the same period.
“This festival is a great way to celebrate our long-standing relationship by sharing with Malaysians our unique New Zealand story; land of Open Minds, Open Hearts and Open Spaces. Not only are we an innovative country full of creative idea-makers who challenge the status quo, we welcome everyone as friends and take pride in being guardians of our land and environment.
“For the next few days, this festival will showcase New Zealand as a young, multicultural and innovative nation, as well as a great place for Malaysians to visit and study. The key exhibits will further strengthen New Zealand’s position as a provider of high-quality products and services in Malaysia.”
According to New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner for Malaysia, Matt Ritchie, having such products in Malaysia not only brings to light the increasing preference the Malaysian consumer has for New Zealand goods, but also the importance of Malaysia as a trading partner.
“Over the last 60 years, Malaysia has grown to become one of our fastest growing export markets and is currently our ninth largest export market worth approximately NZ$1.17billion. Key exports to Malaysia include milk powder, butter and dairy spreads, meat products and fruits and vegetables.
“There is still plenty of potential for trade growth between both countries, especially in areas such as biotechnology and agri-technology, and we look forward to establishing stronger cooperation in such areas,” said Mr Ritchie.
YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, was the special Guest-of-Honour at the launch.
“Malaysia and New Zealand have long shared strong trade and education ties. As our relationship develops even further, Malaysia looks forward to attracting more investments from New Zealand and expanding its collaboration with New Zealand in many areas, including information technology (IT) and tourism,” he said.
Some of the key activities taking place at Discover Aotearoa New Zealand include kappa haka performances, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, food displays, tourism and education presentations, interactive photo displays and arts and crafts. Visitors who participate in the festival’s competitions will enter a draw to win a pair of return trip tickets to Auckland, New Zealand on Malaysia Airlines.
The Discover Aotearoa New Zealand Festival will take place at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur from 25-29 October 2017 between 10am-10pm. For further details, visit the New Zealand High Commission’s Facebook page.