6 Apr 2011

Pacific Business Council welcomes NZ's Guam plans

2:56 pm on 6 April 2011

Signals from the New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, that he's planning to set up a diplomatic post on Guam has strong support from the New Zealand Pacific Business Council.

Mr McCully says a presence is needed so New Zealand businesses can vie for contracts arising from the transfer of US marines to the island from Japan.

In a speech to New Zealand's Institute of International Affairs, Mr McCully also noted the lack of a diplomatic presence in the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Council's president, Gilbert Ulrich, has led several trade missions to Guam and says there are many opportunities for New Zealand companies there.

And he says a Guam consulate could service the whole region.

"I wouldn't think we'd need more posts in Micronesia. I think one in Guam could service those area, you see Guam is the hub of the Micronesian region for air travel, shipping and communications, I think banking, and in many other things Guam is the focal point and the best place for New Zealand to be positioned in."