Randal new High Commissioner to Malaysia, Brunei  

Tuesday, 10 June 2003, Beehive.

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Hon Phil Goff, NZ Foreign Minister

New Zealand next High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei will be career diplomat Geoff Randal, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"New Zealand enjoys long-standing links with Malaysia through education exchanges, shared security concerns, cooperation in science and technology, tourism and burgeoning economic and trade relations," Mr Goff said.

“Close education links have been a strong bilateral tie since the Colombo Plan. Some 13,000 Malaysians have graduated from our universities and over 1000 Malaysian fee-paying students are currently studying here.

“Malaysia plays a leading role in Southeast Asia. It is influential in the Islamic world and a strong voice for developing country concerns, especially as current Chair of the Non-aligned Movement.

“New Zealand and Malaysia have long shared security concerns, and we are partners in the Five Power Defence Arrangement, which is New Zealand's only defence arrangement in the Southeast Asian region.

“Malaysia is also New Zealand's largest market in Southeast Asia and our 12th largest worldwide. Two-way trade is worth over NZ$1 billion a year."

As High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Randal will also be accredited to Brunei.

“We enjoy warm relations with Brunei Darussalam, as we saw during visits to New Zealand by the Sultan and most recently the Crown Prince,?Mr Goff said.

Mr Randal joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1973 and has been posted to Rome, Bahrain, Riyadh and Port Moresby. He was Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra from 1996 to 2000 and was most recently Director of the Ministry's Disarmament Division.