Global heavyweights China President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit New Zealand over the next fortnight.

Prime Minister John Key has announced Mrs Merkel and Mr Harper will visit next Friday on the way to the G20 Summit being held in Australia - but US President Barack Obama is not expected to pop in.

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said while Mr Obama was invited "we are not expecting him."

It is understood there is a still a slim chance he will make time, but it is unlikely.


President Xi will come on a more formal state visit after the G20 from 19 November to 21 November Mr Key had invited him during Key's visit to China last year. It will be the first visit by a Chinese head of state since President Hu Jintao came in 2003, although President Xi himself visited in 2010 when he was Vice President - the visit on which Green Party co-leader Russel Norman staged a one-man protest at Parliament with the Tibetan flag.

Mrs Merkel will be the first German chancellor to visit since Helmut Kohl in 1997 and she will give a lecture at Auckland University as well as meet business people. Mr Key said it was a good opportunity to discuss trade - two way trade with Germany was now more than with the United Kingdom.

"Being able to discuss significant global issues such as the conflict in Iraq and Syria with her will be invaluable ahead of New Zealand taking up a seat on the UN Security Council next year."

Mr Harper's visit will be the first by a Canadian leader in almost two decades.

Prime Minister John Key will also take part in the G20 Summit as a guest of the Australian host. New Zealand is one of six extra invited countries and regional organisations.

NZH lb