Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

John Key, Bill Gates discuss future of the world

Prime Minister John Key and the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. File photo / Greg Bowker
Prime Minister John Key and the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. File photo / Greg Bowker

Bill Gates may be only the second richest man in the world, with a net worth of US$67 billion ($79.7 billion), but he is assuredly the most generous. He has given away more that US$28 billion and the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also helped to combat diseases such as polio and malaria.

It was with that in mind that Prime Minister John Key said he sought a meeting with him at the Bo'ao Forum in Hainan, China, yesterday.

The pair had 25 minutes together and afterwards Mr Gates said they had talked about the future of education, foreign aid, the world economy and areas of health in which they might work together. Mr Gates said he would get more information on the work New Zealand and Australia were doing to combat rheumatic fever.

He said he had visited New Zealand several times and he loved to holiday there between January and March.

"Hard to beat New Zealand," he said. "It's a really beautiful place."

It's thought he goes to some of the lodges owned by fellow New York billionaire and philanthropist Julian Robertson.

Mr Key's dance card at the forum included Christine Lagarde, the managing directorof the International Monetary Fund, who praised the New Zealand economy.

Mr Key warmly greeted Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the foyer of the hotel with a double kiss.

- NZ Herald

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