Our island nation’s place in the newly-coined ‘Indo-Pacific’

Our island nation’s place in the newly-coined ‘Indo-Pacific’

We have had some stark reminders recently that New Zealand is fundamentally an island nation.

We don’t have the large internal markets of continental countries, land borders, or the need to share resources, like rivers, with neighbours.

Island nations like ours differ from continental ones in other ways.

These include an acceptance, driven by necessity, that we need to go offshore to make our way; an inclination to look inwards when under stress; and a fear of missing out when others start ‘getting together’ in some sort of grouping.

We don’t have the large internal markets of continental countries, land borders, or the need to share resources, like rivers, with neighbours.

Island nations like ours differ from continental ones in other ways.

These include an acceptance, driven by necessity, that we need to go offshore to make our way; an inclination to look inwards when under stress; and a fear of missing out when others start ‘getting together’ in some sort of grouping.

History has taught New Zealand that if a new grouping emerges offshore, we try to get in early.

The reality is that if we don’t, it’s hard for a country of our size and relevance to join later.

We’ve seen this in the past with things like APEC, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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