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Monday, November 9

Prime Minister to attend APEC in Singapore

Prime Minister John Key will travel to Singapore this week to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2009 leaders meeting.

APEC promotes closer trade and economic relationships in the region and makes it easier for members to trade with and invest in each other's economies.

New Zealand is one of the founding members of the 21 economy grouping, and during the forum Mr Key will meet with the leaders of other APEC member economies.

"The Asia-Pacific region is vitally important for New Zealand's future prosperity, and as many as 14 of New Zealand's top 20 export markets are APEC members," Mr Key says.

"At APEC, leaders will talk about how to ensure a strong and sustained economic recovery and a return to growth across the region. We will also discuss the importance of taking steps towards further regional economic integration," Mr Key says.

Business leaders from the region attend APEC, and Mr Key will also address the APEC CEO Summit.

Mr Key departs for Singapore on Thursday November 12 and returns to

New Zealand on Monday November 16.

Finance Minister Bill English, Foreign Minister Murray McCully, and Trade Minister Tim Groser will also attend Ministers' meetings as part of APEC leaders week.