Davos: PM Jacinda Ardern to challenge 'false protectionism and isolation' on Europe tour

Jacinda Ardern hopes to convince leaders in Europe against "false protectionism and isolation" when she visits next week. 

The Prime Minister will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and will also be making stops in London and Brussels. 

"I hope other leaders will come to see more compassionate domestic policy settings as a compelling alternative to the false promise of protectionism and isolation," she said in a statement on Thursday. 

"I will be using the opportunity in Davos to hold a number of bilateral meetings with leaders to promote trade and other matters."

Ms Ardern's office confirmed to Newshub that she will not be travelling with her family when she heads to Europe. However she will be joined at the World Economic Forum by Finance Minister Grant Robertson. 

It will be a change for Ms Ardern after travelling with her partner Clarke Gayford and their baby Neve when she attended the United Nations general assembly in September last year. 

There, Ms Ardern made history as the first world leader to attend the United Nations General Assembly with her baby in tow.

The primary purpose of her trip is to progress a free trade agreement with Europe and to promote New Zealand business interests, the Prime Minister's office said. 

"I will be using my engagements to enhance New Zealand's profile as a likeminded partner to the EU across a wide range of issues, including climate change, social policy, trade and our commitment to the rules-based system," Ms Ardern said.

She is scheduled to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May with whom she will "reconfirm the understanding that New Zealand will be left no worse off, including in respect of its trade interests, following the UK's decision to leave the EU". 

A meeting has also been scheduled between Ms Ardern and the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, president of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, and NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

"There is still much progress to make in trade talks with our European partners, so a key focus of this whole trip is to speak to European Commission and individual country leaders to shore up support for our on-going negotiations," Ms Ardern said. 

The Prime Minister will also be participating in a range of panel discussion in Davos including a panel on mental health with His Royal Highness Prince William. 

At the World Economic Forum she said she will be prompting the Government's approach to "inclusive growth" and the delivery of the world's first wellbeing budget in May.