Barack Obama keen on Rotorua visit

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NZ Minister for Trade and Rotorua MP, Todd McClay with outgoing US President Barack Obama at APEC this week.  Photo/Supplied
NZ Minister for Trade and Rotorua MP, Todd McClay with outgoing US President Barack Obama at APEC this week. Photo/Supplied

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has said he would like to visit Rotorua after an invitation from Rotorua MP Todd McClay during a conversation at APEC.

Mr McClay, who is also the Minister of Trade, is in Peru along with Prime Minister John Key, attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' meeting - an annual, 21 nation Asia Pacific economic summit.

Although there is a strong focus on trade talks, Mr McClay had time for an informal conversation with President Obama, where he invited him to visit Rotorua.

"Obviously he's got a bit going on at the moment, but Mr Obama said he would like to visit Rotorua when he comes to New Zealand which would be fantastic."

Mr McClay said the economic talks were going well.

"There is a lot of interest in New Zealand and how well our economy is doing, but there is also sympathy for the devastation we have seen this week from the earthquake."

So far this week Mr McClay has had meetings with ministers from the United States, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to talk about trade.

"A number of them were extremely interested to learn about our tourism successes, while [representatives from] Peru are keen to visit next year to talk about the iwi economy and how to help their indigenous population benefit more from trade," he said.



This year's APEC is focused on improving growth and living standards through initiatives such as more effective trade in services and trade liberalisation. The Asia Pacific region accounts for almost three quarters of New Zealand's total trade and is home to some of New Zealand's most important international partners.

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