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Free Trade Is What Farmers Want

7 April 2008
Free Trade Is What Farmers Want

Federated Farmers welcomes the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and China as it will bring huge benefits to New Zealand farmers.

A large delegation from New Zealand is in China to today to sign what is the biggest trade agreement with another country since the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia in 1983.

“It is a quite a momentous event that New Zealand is the first western country to do a genuine trade deal with China, an up and coming super power, said Charlie Pedersen President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

“This is a comprehensive free trade agreement that will be hugely beneficial to a country like New Zealand which relies on exports. New Zealand is taking trade into the new century with this FTA.

“China has the biggest potential market in the world, with the biggest population. The Chinese want our meat, wool and dairy products. Their middle class is growing all the time and as the population gets wealthier they will demand more of our produce. It is a great time to be a food producer in New Zealand,” said Mr Pedersen.

Reducing tariffs on food and fibre going to China is an essential part of the agreement.

A key issue is how quickly the average tariffs of 15 percent on agricultural goods will be reduced. This will not be known until after the agreement has been signed.

ENDS

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