Photo Release

April 20, 2024

Zubiri hosts lunch meeting with NZ Prime Minister: On 19 April 2024, Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri hosted a lunch meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati in honor of the Rt. Hon. Christopher Luxon, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and his Delegation. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Honorable Simon Watts, Minister of Climate Change and Revenue, and the Honorable Paulo Garcia, the first member of Filipino descent elected to Parliament. A select number of New Zealand government officials and a 50-man business contingent were also part of the Delegation.

Senate President Zubiri was joined by his spouse, Mrs. Audrey Tan Zubiri, and Senators Joel Villanueva, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Mark Villar, Cynthia Villar, Senate Secretary Renato N. Bantug, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Kira Christianne Danganan-Azucena, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Anti-Red Tape Authority Director-General Ernesto Perez, and Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Jerome Olivarez.

In his opening remarks and toast, Senate President Zubiri welcomed New Zealand’s intention to become a key partner of the Philippines and acknowledged that the Prime Minister’s visit signifies his commitment in deepening Philippines-New Zealand relations with the goal of elevating ties to a Comprehensive Partnership. He also addressed the New Zealand business delegation and hoped that their visit will usher in more investments for the country.

In his response, Prime Minister Luxon thanked the Senate President for his hospitality and looked forward to stronger relations with the Philippines with great optimism. He stressed that relationships matter and that their visit is an opportunity to build and further strengthen these relationships with Philippine leaders. The Prime Minister said that New Zealand is a trading nation with ambitious trading goals and who recognizes that security interests and economic stability go hand-in-hand in ensuring a safe and secure Indo-Pacific region.

During the lunch that followed, the Philippine and New Zealand sides also held conversations on issues such as tourism, geopolitics, employment, and initiatives in improving the investment climate in the Philippines, among others. (Reference: Office of the Senate President and Office of the International Relations and Protocol)