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FTA negotiation with Malaysia welcomed

FTA negotiation with Malaysia welcomed

Meat & Wool New Zealand Chief Executive Mark Jeffries has welcomed today’s announcement that New Zealand and Malaysia will commence Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

“Malaysia is an increasingly important market for New Zealand meat and wool products. An FTA will deepen our trade and economic relationship and this promises to benefit New Zealand meat and wool farmers and industry,” he said.

Prime Ministers Clark and Badawi announced today that New Zealand and Malaysia would soon commence negotiation of an FTA. The Government released its study into the benefits of an FTA with Malaysia earlier this month. The study concluded that a comprehensive FTA would provide real benefits to both countries. As well as cutting tariffs, other areas where an FTA could facilitate trade through strengthened cooperation were highlighted by the Study.

In 2004 exports of sheepmeat, beef and wool totalled approximately NZ$78 million or 15% of New Zealand’s total exports to Malaysia. Malaysia is New Zealand’s second largest market for beef offals and eighth largest market for beef by value. New Zealand is also the main supplier of sheepmeat to Malaysia. New Zealand high quality meat cuts supply the Malaysian hotel and restaurant trade, while other meat products are imported for further processing. Bilateral trade in wool products is currently small but has shown recent rapid growth.

Mr Jeffries said Meat & Wool New Zealand supported the Government’s efforts to improve market access and address technical barriers to trade in meat and wool products through the conclusion of free trade agreements.

Trade Statistics for year ended 30 September 2004 meat and 30 June 2004 wool:

NZ Beef and beef offal exports: 18,400 tonnes (including 10,000 tonnes edible offals) at NZ$54.1 million FOB

NZ Sheepmeat exports: 6,100 tonnes at NZ$23.4 million FOB

NZ Wool exports: 80 tonnes clean at NZ$560,000 FOB.

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