“The 10 countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations present us with opportunities to grow our trade and political relationships in our neighbourhood.
“It’s a region whose 620 million people account for nearly 10% of the world’s population,” Key said.
“Already ASEAN as a bloc is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner and over the past 10 years NZ’s total trade with ASEAN has grown at 9% per year on average.
“This NZ Inc ASEAN Strategy sets out ambitious goals for NZ over the next five years, including growing annual visitor expenditure from the region by two-thirds, from $289m to $470m, and boosting NZ’s exports to the region by 40% by the end of 2017.
“It also underlines the importance of building on our already strong political and security relationships across ASEAN, including an increased diplomatic presence in the region and more work together on disaster relief,” Key said.