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Chamber Welcomes Goff’s Participation in WTO

27 June 2006

Chamber Welcomes Goff’s Participation in WTO Discussions on Services

The Government’s decision to send Trade Minister Phil Goff to the forthcoming discussions on the Doha Round has been welcomed by Charles Finny, CEO of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Goff travels to Geneva this week to join other Trade Ministers in advancing a deal on agriculture and industrial products. While there he will participate in discussions on the state of the Doha Round services negotiations.

“I am pleased the government fully recognises the importance of services in the context of the Doha Round”, Mr Finny said.

“For the EU and US to agree to liberalisation of trade in agriculture, there will need to be some progress in trade in services and services are increasingly important to the New Zealand economy.

“The Chamber thinks that a good deal on agriculture, particularly on abolishing export subsidies, is on the table. What we have to do now is secure this deal.

“The Balance of Payments figures released last week highlight the importance of New Zealand’s Services exports. These now represent around 28% of total exports - $12.1 billion in the year ended March 2006.

“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.

“While we acknowledge the on-going importance of agriculture to the New Zealand economy, there needs to be good emphasis placed on achieving a high quality outcome in non-agricultural goods and services.

“The better the deals on non-agricultural goods and services, the better the deal on agriculture will be,” Mr Finny concluded.

ENDS

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