Republic of the Philippines

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New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines welcomed by PHL Ambassador in Wellington and Honorary Consul General in Auckland, New Zealand

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As Philippines-New Zealand friendship and partnership grow from strength to strength, Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez welcomed the new Ambassador of New Zealand to the Philippines H.E. David Strachan at the dinner she hosted at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) on 24 February 2015. Mr. Stefan Corbett, Lead Adviser and Mr. Matthew De Wit, Policy Officer of the South and Southeast Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Ms. Agnes Espineda, Managing Director of Tactics. Ltd., Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Obach, Ms. Rubianca Angelica H. Benavidez, the Ambassador’s daughter and Ms. Nicole Canseco, newly arrived student at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) were also present. Mr. DeWitt will also be assigned to the New Zealand Embassy this year as the next Deputy Head of Mission.

It was a meaningful and interactive evening as Ambassador Strachan, Ambassador Benavidez and all the guests talked about the flourishing state of Philippines-New Zealand relations in the bilateral and regional arenas, opportunities for greater people to people ties through education and youth programmes, air connectivity, contributions of more than 40,350 members of the Filipino community, exchange of high level, ministerial and senior officials visits, promotion of business linkages, the Philippines’ hosting of APEC 2015 and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of ASEAN New Zealand dialogue partnership this year and other related subjects.

Philippine Honorary Consul General Paulo Garcia met with Ambassador Strachan and Mr. DeWitt at the Philippine Consulate General in Auckland on 19 February 2015. Their discussions focused on the key areas of cooperation especially in the agriculture, trade, investment and tourism areas, linkages between Filipinos and New Zealanders in various fields and the companies from the Philippines and New Zealand doing businesses in ICT, food, dairy and salmon processing, among others.

Ambassador Benavidez and Honorary Consul General Garcia extended their best wishes to Ambassador Strachan and Mr. DeWitt as they undertake their diplomatic assignments in the Philippines and reiterated deep appreciation for the continued collaboration as friends, partners and neighbours to bring Philippines-New Zealand relations to even greater heights for mutual benefit in the years ahead.

Ambassador Strachan and Mr. DeWitt thanked Ambassador Benavidez and Honorary Consul General Garcia for the warm reception, gracious hospitality and continued cooperation extended to them.

The officials look forward to meeting one another again and sharing updates and insights on the strengthening of bilateral, regional and global relations between the two countries and peoples.

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