Tue, 22 Sep 2020

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced the appointment of Jeremy Clarke-Watson as New Zealand's new Consul-General in Los Angeles.

"New Zealand and the United States share a close and dynamic partnership, based on a long history of shared values and democratic traditions," Mr Peters said.

"Mr Clarke-Watson is a career diplomat who has previously served as New Zealand Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and as the Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassies in both Saudi Arabia and Viet Nam. He is currently New Zealand's Special Envoy for Commonwealth Trade Integration.

"Our economic and trade relationship is growing, and this will become increasingly important as we seek to respond to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The West Coast, and particularly California, is at the nexus of our economic interests in the United States.

"California is the centre of gravity in the United States for creative industries, technology, and innovation - with Silicon Valley home to many of the world's largest technology companies," Mr Peters said.

Two-way trade between New Zealand and the city of Los Angeles totalled approximately US$2 billion in 2019, with New Zealand exports accounting for over US$1.2 billion. Many of New Zealand's largest exporters active in the United States base their operations in and around Los Angeles.

Mr Clarke-Watson will take up his role in August, replacing current Consul-General Maurice Williamson.

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