28 Apr 2011

Key in Paris, pushes for more trade with Europe

10:46 am on 28 April 2011

Prime Minister John Key has pushed for greater trade links with Europe during his meetings in France.

As part of his trip to France and Britain, Mr Key has had meetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French minister of economy, industry and employment, Christine Lauguard, in Paris.

He says New Zealand wants to expand its involvement in the region and that he told Ms Lauguard that where New Zealand has completed trade agreements it has been to the benefit of both parties.

Mr Key says the Government accepts that it may take some time to complete a more comprehensive economic partnership with the Eurozone but it's something it would like to see progressed.

New Zealand's involvement in Afghanistan was discussed during the meeting with Mr Sarkozy and Mr Key says both leaders recognise the challenges in Afghanistan.

He says they both believe the work they are doing there and the sacrifices that are being made are important - but see the need for a solution and handover of power to the Afghan people.

Mr Key heads back to London on Thursday evening New Zealand time. He will have meetings with Prince Charles and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, before attending the royal wedding on Friday.