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International relations

New Zealand PM eyes economy reboot with Japan, Singapore visits

As approval ratings dip, Ardern seeks political boost with tourism, trade

SYDNEY -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern left Monday for Singapore and Japan as her first trip overseas since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with hopes of boosting the economy amid her declining domestic approval rating.

Though details of her itinerary have not yet been announced, Ardern will hold talks with her counterparts in the two countries during her trip, which ends Sunday. She is expected to seek strengthening New Zealand's cooperation with Japan and Singapore in the fields of security as well as trade and tourism.

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