Venkat Raman –
Tim Groser has always been a man with ambitious pursuits, for himself and for his adopted country to which he migrated in his formative years.
The man who is known as one of the toughest trade negotiators and finest diplomats, is preparing to leave New Zealand to take up the high profile post as Ambassador to the United States of America. His role in Washington will be crucial as the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is debated at the echelons of power in the White House and Capitol Hill, just as much of Europe would do in the coming months.
Mr Groser is likely to have a smooth ride as New Zealand’s envoy to America, given the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries and the superb rapport enjoyed by Prime Minister John Key with President Barack Obama. Wellington and Washington may announce a number of initiatives in the coming months, reaching out to higher levels of diplomacy.
However, Mr Groser will also find his role challenging as China continues to play a larger role in New Zealand’s trade sector, with increasing prospects for our goods and services. A thicker chunk of export dollars will bring with it the need for greater cooperation with a country which is seen as an opaque country with no intention of becoming a democracy.
Prime Minister John Key was not mincing words when he described New Zealand’s relations with UAS as the ‘most crucial’ of all bilateral relations.
“As the world’s largest economy and New Zealand’s fourth-largest trading partner, the United States is a key destination for our exporters. New Zealand and the US also cooperate on a range of international peace and security issues,” he said, while announcing Mr Groser’s high level appointment.
“His extensive international experience as Trade Minister makes him well-placed for this role, particularly as the TPP progresses towards implementation,” he said.
Mr Groser has been a member of Parliament since 2005 and a Minister since 2008, holding Trade, Climate Change Issues, Conservation and Associate Foreign Affairs Ministerial portfolios in that time.
His previous roles include Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation, Chief Executive of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and Ambassador to Indonesia.
Mr Key thanked outgoing Ambassador Mike Moore for his contribution and service to New Zealand in Washington.
New Zealand’s close relationship with America is not just the making of Mr Groser or his boss. An equally capable hand was that of Mike Moore, former Prime Minister of New Zealand the Secretary General of the World Trade Organisation.
Mr Key acknowledged his role since he took charge as our envoy in Washington in 2010.
“New Zealand’s relationship with the United States has been strengthening over a number of years and Mike has been a key contributor to that improvement. I wish him and his wife Yvonne all the best as they return home to New Zealand,” he said.
As a long-time friend, Indian Newslink wishes Mr Groser the best in his new assignment.