Malcolm Turnbull heading to NZ to meet Bill English

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives in Queenstown on Friday to meet Bill English. (Reuters)

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is heading to our shores for his first official visit with Prime Minister Bill English, with the state of the world economy among topics on the table.

Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos will arrive in Queenstown on Friday for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting.

Turnbull’s visit is the first meeting between the two leaders since English succeeded John Key last year.

Prime Minister Bill English says the world economy and closer economic integration between NZ and Australia will be among the topics of discussion when he meets Malcolm Turnbull. (photo: Robyn Edie)

In a statement, English said the visit was “a good opportunity to discuss global economic trends and our shared interest in advancing the trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific”.

The pair would also discuss efforts to increase the two countries’ economic integration, as well as the rights of Kiwis living in Australia, with English praising Turnbull’s “welcome announcement” last year of a pathway to citizenship.

It is unclear whether the leaders’ differing experiences with US President Donald Trump will come up during small talk.

While English’s warm phone conversation with Trump led to US media writing about “personal chemistry” between the pair, the American leader reportedly blasted Turnbull over a “dumb” refugee swap deal and said it was his “worst call by far” that day.

Turnbull’s trip will include a meeting with business leaders from both countries, and the laying of a wreath at the Arrowtown War Memorial.

The visit continued the tradition of holding trans-Tasman leaders’ meetings early each year, English said.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges will also attend the meeting.

[Read the Stuff article].

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