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On Consultation And Partnerships

“While it may seem churlish to criticise the Government’s decision to facilitate access to the New Zealand market for the world’s poorest countries, the absence of any prior consultation with New Zealand industry sectors likely to be impacted is of real concern”, said Simon Carlaw, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Manufacturers Federation. He was commenting on the announcement today that the Government is to grant duty free access for least developed countries.

“This is particularly so when one of the consequences could be New Zealand job losses.”

“Much has been made of growing partnerships between the Government and business. A key to this is proper consultation. This surely goes beyond a simple bureaucratic analysis of historical trade figures that will always be silent about current and future developments, or about the practicalities of monitoring the real origin of imports.”

“We hope, too, that this decision, while laudable in some respects, does not herald a return to New Zealand always leading the way in international trade matters. International trade policy is littered with statements of good intention and less evidence of action. There are richer and stronger economies better able to test the waters that would be more effective in taking a lead.”


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