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Move As Quickly As Possible With Korea

19 May 2008

Move As Quickly As Possible With Korea Urges Business Forum

The New Zealand International Business Forum today urged both Korean and New Zealand governments to move as quickly as possible towards a free trade agreement.

Welcoming the news from Seoul that Korea and New Zealand had agreed to start talks intended to lead towards an FTA, NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi congratulated the two governments and said the Forum hoped negotiations could begin before the end of year.

"We appreciate that it takes time to develop a negotiating mandate and both countries have other negotiations underway but with a very positive study already completed and strong complementarities between the two economies, the New Zealand business community is keen for negotiations to start as soon as possible".

Mr Jacobi said a free trade agreement would be a natural next step in the relationship between the two countries.

"Korea is an important partner for New Zealand not only in terms of two way trade but in the effort to free up trade in the Asia Pacific region more generally. With a high quality FTA in place, Korea could become an important trade ally for New Zealand".

NZIBF Chairman Graeme Harrison and three other members of the International Business Forum, which brings together some of the country's largest exporters and the major business organisations, joined the Prime Minister for a dinner in Seoul on Friday 16 May.


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