NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister (PM) Christopher Luxon and a delegation of top business leaders will be in Manila on Thursday to meet with Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to discuss the Philippine government’s development agenda.

“He (Mr. Luxon) has been very clear that he wants to come to the Philippines,” outgoing New Zealand Ambassador the Philippines Francis Tavita Kell said in his farewell call to Mr. Marcos in Malacañang on Wednesday.

“Putting it simply — his mission is to show the rest of his delegation [the] 25 top business leaders, they should be doing more in this part of the world, they should be doing more in the Philippines.”

Last year, New Zealand was Manila’s 28th trading partner with trade amounting to $495.37 million. It is also the country’s 38th export destination and 24th import source.

There are about 100,000 Filipinos based in New Zealand, according to the New Zealand government’s official website.

“The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and expected to be a top 20 global economy by 2050,” Mr. Luxon said in a statement on the same site. “I am looking forward to reconnecting with President Marcos, to advancing our countries’ relationship of nearly 60 years and to scoping more opportunities of New Zealand businesses.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez