The Chancellor's travels
Strengthening relations with New Zealand
Germany and New Zealand want to work more closely together in the areas of industry, science and climate protection, according to a statement issued by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister John Key. Following her visit to Auckland, Merkel travelled on to Brisbane for the G20Summit.
New Zealand is the first stop on Chancellor Angela Merkel's travels. In Auckland she first met Prime Minister John Key.
The two countries want to support bilateral trade and investments. And so she was delighted "that after long talks the political framework agreement between the European Union and New Zealand has been signed just now", said Merkel in a joint press conference with Key. "I believe we should also work towards establishing a free trade agreement with New Zealand", she added.
Cooperation in science, research and climate protection
Closer cooperation is also planned in the area of science and research, said Merkel. One in six New Zealand scientists have contacts with their German counterparts, she said. Germany is New Zealand's fourth most important research partner. "I believe that we can further expand on this, too."
With regard to climate change both countries are working towards an "ambitious" post-2015 agenda. In development cooperation in the South Pacific the plan is to concentrate on green technologies and renewable energies in particular.
It is Chancellor Angela Merkel's first trip to Australia and New Zealand. The last German Chancellor to visit the two countries was the then Federal Chancellor Kohl back in 1997.
Common position on international issues
The Chancellor and the Prime Minister also agreed on numerous international issues. For instance, they said that broad international cooperation is required in the battle against ISIS. Merkel and Key called upon the international community to address the threat arising from terrorism in a "comprehensive and coordinated" manner.
Merkel and Key showed concern about the situation of Syrian refugees. Both countries would support the UN Special Representative in re-establishing the political process in Syria.
They urged Russia and the pro-Russian separatists to respect unconditionally Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Minsk Protocol must be implemented fully in order to bring the violence to an end and find a sustainable political solution to the conflict, they said.
The fight against Ebola represents a new and complex challenge for the international community, they added. "We want to isolate the Ebola virus not the countries affected by it", declared Merkel and Key.
G20 Summit at the weekend
A clear signal for growth is what Chancellor Angela Merkel expects from the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, which begins on Saturday. She underlined that healthy budget management by the countries is a basic condition for such growth. Merkel pointed out that there is further need for action on the subject of financial market regulation.
With regard to foreign policy, the Chancellor emphasised that she wants to speak about the conflict in Ukraine at the G20 Summit. She said that she is also prepared to talk with Russia's President Vladimir Putin on this subject.
Visit to Auckland
After her talks with the Prime Minister, the Chancellor laid a wreath at New Zealand’s War Memorial. After doing so, she said that this year especially, the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, it is very moving for her as German Chancellor to come to New Zealand as a friend and lay a wreath for the war victims. "And to work to make today's world a more peaceful place."
The two heads of government then travelled to Motutapu Island to visit a breeding programme for endangered kiwis.
In the afternoon the Chancellor gave an address at the University of Auckland. The subject was "German policy in the field of innovation and research". In her address Merkel also pointed out that so far five New Zealand researchers have received the renowned Humboldt Research Award.
There are currently 95 partnerships between German and New Zealand universities and the number is rising, she said. In the evening there followed talks with German businesses and a reception at the New Zealand German Business Association.
On 10 November 2013 celebrations were held for the 60th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between Germany and New Zealand.
Second stop: Australia
On Friday evening New Zealand time, the Chancellor travelled on to Brisbane, Australia, to take part in the G20 Summit. Australia holds the G20 presidency in 2014. The heads of state and government of the G20 will be holding two days of talks on measures to boost sustainable growth, create jobs and extend infrastructure.
On 16 November Federal Chancellor Merkel will fly from Brisbane to Sydney. There she will be welcomed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Visit to Sydney
On Monday Merkel will meet the leader of the opposition Labour Party. Next on the agenda is a visit to the Australian Technology Park where there is an exhibition on Australia's logistics, information and communications technologies.
Later on, the Chancellor will give an address at the Lowy Institute for International Policy on the subject of European and foreign policy, before laying a wreath at the "ANZAC-AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND ARMY CORPS War Memorial".
Both the First and the Second World War were very important to Australia's identity. With their "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps" (ANZAC), Australia and New Zealand participated in both wars on behalf of the British Empire. Both countries lost many to the war. The Battle of Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 is still remembered today on "ANZAC-AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND ARMY CORPS Day".
In the afternoon the Federal Chancellor will attend a reception held by the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Talks on issues of integration and the situation of Aborigines in Australia are also planned. Chancellor Merkel is expected back in Berlin on the morning of 18 November.
60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, 2012 can be looked back on as a historic anniversary year. In January 2013, during a bilateral visit by Foreign Minister Robert Carr, the "Berlin-Canberra Declaration of Intent on a Strategic Partnership" was signed