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The TPPA is a wonderful opportunity

Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Media Statement
Thursday 14th April 2016
TPPA wonderful opportunity for regions, says business

The TPPA is a wonderful opportunity for regional businesses of all types to grow and contribute to economic growth and employment, organisations representing businesses told a parliamentary select committee today.

John Milford, Chief Executive of Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central, and a Board member of the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce Inc, said business communities encouraged developments which sought to improve and maximise the business environment for New Zealanders.

“To this end, the Trans-Pacific-Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a development our organisation supports.

“Much like existing trade agreements, it will provide the framework for businesses to increase their competitiveness in international markets, this time focusing on the whole Asia-Pacific region.

“Kiwi businesses are opportunists, and the way they see it the TPP will ease existing barriers, open new doors for collaboration, ultimately improving successes and confidence.

“If wholly implemented, it will give Kiwi businesses improved access to international markets and a better regulatory playing field to encourage collaborative trading relationships.”

Mr Milford told the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee that the impacts of TPP regionally correlate to regional industry strengths.

“Think of the beef industry in Manawatu, Canterbury and Waikato; horticulture in Hawke’s Bay; seafood in Nelson; forestry in Northland; wine producers, manufacturing in Auckland; service exports in Wellington. TPP will see reduced tariffs for exporters in these regions, allowing them to re-invest and grow.”

He said TPP would benefit businesses to have improved regulatory integration, and service exporters would better benefit through servicing international markets, or partnering with goods-exporters.

“We see TPP as a wonderful opportunity to enable regional businesses of all types to grow further, put their goods and services into Asia-Pacific markets under more competitive circumstances, and positively contribute to economic growth and employment in the regions.

At the end of the day, we are being offered the opportunity for great rewards, in exchange for relatively minor policy changes.

“This has got to be the best option, compared to watching from the sidelines, being seen to walk away from something we started, and even worse, being seen to be closed for business. As a country that exists on trade, this is an opportunity we simply must not pass up.”

ENDS

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