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Now is the Time for a FTA with Japan

Media Release

12 May 2008


Now is the Time for a Free Trade Agreement with Japan

A Free Trade Agreement with Japan should now be one of the New Zealand government’s highest priorities according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Chief Executive, Charles Finny made the comment on the eve of the Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum to be held in Tokyo later this week.

“With the increasing interest in New Zealand’s business relationship with Asia, following the signing of the FTA with China last month, and with food shortages intensifying internationally, now is the time to increase efforts to pursue this objective”, said Mr Finny.

“Japan is the world’s second largest economy and has recently emerged from a period of flat economic performance.

“Japan and New Zealand are natural trade partners with a well established relationship but that relationship has enormous potential to develop further.

Organised by the International Business Forum, of which the Chamber is an active member, the Forum will bring together around 60 leading figures from government, business and the wider community in both countries in an effort to strengthen the Japan New Zealand relationship.

“The Forum is very well timed and both countries should use it has an opportunity to take the necessary steps to commence negotiation of a FTA.

“As global food shortages intensify, a trade agreement with New Zealand would be a good way for Japan to enhance its food security. It would provide New Zealand with access to the world’s second largest economy.

“Japan should take note of China’s successful strategy and move quickly to commence FTA negotiations with New Zealand.

“We also look forward to a successful negotiation of a free trade agreement with Korea and India as well as an immediate resumption of negotiations with Hong Kong,” Mr Finny concluded.


ENDS

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