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Apec: Well Done New Zealand!

"The APEC leaders' meeting was a success for the region and New Zealand", Mr Ralph Norris, chairman of the New Zealand Business Roundtable said today. "Prime minister Jenny Shipley, the government and all New Zealanders who contributed to the meeting can take great pride in what was achieved."

Mr Norris said there was a real sense of engagement at the meeting between political leaders and the business community. APEC leaders listened positively to the ideas of business representatives for promoting prosperity and security in the region.

"The past 12 months have confirmed that Asian countries have not reverted to inward-looking policies in response to the economic problems in the region", Mr Norris said. "Rather, they have

typically increased efforts to make their economies more open and transparent, and their economic outlook is improving. The arguments of those who saw open markets rather than excessive intervention and poor corporate governance as being the source of Asian problems, and who predicted reversals of policy, were mistaken.

"The planned free trade agreement between New Zealand and Singapore is a very encouraging development", Mr Norris said. "New Zealand business should support the government in its attempts to extend such regional initiatives."

Mr Norris said that APEC leaders and business people would have left New Zealand with very positive attitudes about the country and its achievements in running a first class conference. "All those involved can hold their heads high", he concluded.

ENDS....

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