A visiting Japanese business delegation have indicated strong interest in local industries which could benefit the Rotorua economy.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said a visiting delegation of the Chugoku Economic Federation from the Hiroshima region of Japan has shown great interest in the wood processing, tourism and geothermal industries and presents an important opportunity for Rotorua's economy.

Mr McClay welcomed the high powered business delegation to New Zealand as Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a speech in Wellington this morning.

"This visit reflects strong interest in New Zealand from Japanese economic groups in recent years and is very welcome," said Mr McClay.


Delegations from the highly influential Japan Business Federation and Kansai Economic Federation visited New Zealand in 2014.

"Japan is New Zealand's fourth largest trading partner and fourth largest source of foreign investment. We therefore welcome these visits and the opportunities they present to strengthen trade and investment links."

The delegation has a particular interest in New Zealand's renewable energy policies and tourism strategies and will be visiting Rotorua, Kawerau and Christchurch during their stay.

We are keen to increase the use of renewable energy as a way to deal with climate change and while there is already considerable cooperation between New Zealand and Japan in geothermal energy, we see the scope to do more together as Japan develops its geothermal resource," says Mr McClay.

"A number of the companies represented in the delegation already have long-standing investments in New Zealand and we welcome opportunities to deepen those relationships."

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