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Services Sector is Crucial in WTO Negotiations

Services Sector is Crucial in WTO Negotiations

The New Zealand government needs to put more effort into the
services sector as part of its WTO Doha Round negotiations according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"New Zealand is predominantly an agricultural trading nation but we need to realise, there will be no agriculture outcome without a good outcome in services," said Chamber CEO, Charles Finny.

"It looks as though a good deal on agriculture is there for the taking but there needs to be something to counterbalance this. The deal on non-agriculture market access is looking poor so the counterbalance needs to come from elsewhere. Services offer that potential but we don't have much time.

"The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce will be part of the Global Services Coalition lobbying effort in Geneva at the time of the ministerial in late July.

"For key countries to agree to liberalisation of trade in difficult areas such as agriculture there will need to be some progress in areas where they seek changes, such as trade in services.

"Not only do services negotiations have the potential to break the current impasse, they are crucial in their own right as the sector is increasingly important to the New Zealand economy. For example, services now account for close to 30 percent of exports.

"The Wellington region's economy is one of the most dependent on the service activities of any region in New Zealand. 90% of our regional GDP is generated by services activity", Mr Finny concluded.


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