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Meat and Wool NZ Welcomes China FTA Talks

Government to "beef up" its negotiations with China on a FTA

Today’s announcement that the New Zealand government will begin negotiations with China for a Free Trade Agreement has been welcomed by Meat & Wool New Zealand.

“China is already an important market destination for a number of meat and wool products. Exports of raw wool, sheepskins and sheepmeat amounted to approximately $250 million in 2003. In fact, China is our second largest sheepmeat export market by volume after the European Union,” commented Jeff Grant, Meat & Wool New Zealand’s Chairman.

Jeff Grant says that China is New Zealand’s second largest export market for raw wool however,it is still a relatively minor market for beef . China will become an increasingly important market for meat and wool products alike.

“China does offer considerable opportunity, its economy is experiencing phenomenal growth and as the Chinese consumer acquires more wealth, demand for better and higher quality products is likely to increase.”

Mr Grant says that the Free Trade Agreement promises to address market access issues and technical barriers to trade along with a raft of other trade issues.

“Improvements to our market access conditions will place our growers in a more competitive position in the Chinese market and we are looking forward to the other benefits that will flow from a closer economic relationship between our two nations.’

Jeff Grant says that given the importance to the New Zealand economy of agricultural trade, the meat and wool sectors will have a strong voice in the development of the Government’s negotiating position.

“Meat & Wool New Zealand looks forward to working with Government to achieve considerable benefits for our stakeholders.”

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