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Good news from WTO on Agriculture

11 February 2008

Good news from WTO on Agriculture and Manufacturing but where are Services?

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the latest developments in the WTO negotiations regarding agriculture and non-agricultural market access but expressed concern that there is nothing comparable yet on the table for services.

“The release of the new negotiating texts for agriculture and industrial market access show the Doha Round of trade talks is still alive but it is concerning,” that the services sector has been omitted said Chamber CEO, Charles Finny.

“Notwithstanding the importance of agriculture to New Zealand, the services negotiations are the key to unlocking the talks. A successful conclusion to this round is not going to be achievable without significant progress having been achieved on services.

“We therefore hope that when services negotiations resume in the week beginning 25 February in Geneva that an ambitious text results.

”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.

“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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