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Meat & Wool NZ welcomes latest FTA success

Media Release

Meat & Wool New Zealand welcomes latest FTA success

29 August 2008

Meat & Wool New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen, is pleased that Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the 10 ASEAN countries have concluded successfully.

"This is a great accomplishment for New Zealand in terms of trade liberalisation," Mr Petersen said.

"The negotiations have been difficult, as New Zealand had to negotiate one-on-one with each of the 10 member countries. The New Zealand meat industry urged negotiators to keep the pressure on for full liberalisation without exclusions.

"I'm pleased that the Government took that message to the table and has been successful in delivering on it. The ASEAN group of countries is growing fast and we expect it to be a significant market for the future."

While the FTA's final details won't be known until it is signed by Ministers in December, Meat & Wool New Zealand expects to see tariff elimination over an acceptable timeframe for all our products of interest.

"Although the current tariffs applied by ASEAN countries are relatively low, the maximum tariffs that can be charged are high. This agreement will eliminate the risk of tariff increases."

ASEAN is an important emerging market for New Zealand meat products. Phenomenal growth, especially in Indonesia, means ASEAN is now the fourth most valuable market for New Zealand beef. In the year ending June 2008, New Zealand exported over NZ$150m worth of beef to the ASEAN region, with 60% going to Indonesia. ASEAN is also an important market for sheepmeat and other meat by-products.

ENDS

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