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Sutton To Visit Australia, China And Korea

19 March 2000

Press Release

SUTTON TO VISIT AUSTRALIA, CHINA AND KOREA

Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton is to visit Australia on March 22-24 before travelling on to China and Korea to progress trade issues.

Mr Sutton will be the first minister from the new Government to visit China and Korea.

His visit to Canberra completes an initial round of key meetings with Australian counterparts, after visits there by Prime Minister Helen Clark, Foreign Minister Phil Goff, and Defence Minister Mark Burton.

While in Australia Mr Sutton will discuss a number of bilateral trade issues with counterpart Mark Vaile, as well as meeting with Agriculture Minister Warren Truss, several other Ministers, and key Opposition leaders.

“I will also have half a day in Melbourne to update myself on developments in the Australian dairy industry. The Australians are on the brink of significant dairy deregulation, and there may be opportunities for New Zealand dairy companies in this regard,” he said.

Mr Sutton said his visit to China and Korea reflected the importance New Zealand placed on its relationship with North Asia.

“China’s reforms are opening up great new potential for New Zealand exporters and its pending accession to the World Trade Organisation will do much to turn that potential into reality,” he said.

“However right now there are outstanding issues which require Ministerial intervention to ensure a fair deal for our traders. The wool quota is one such issue and I will be taking the opportunity to discuss our access problems with Chinese Ministers.”

Mr Sutton said his visit also provided an opportunity to build a relationship with trade and agriculture counterparts in Beijing, and with business and local leaders in Shanghai, which was an increasingly important market and investment destination for New Zealand firms.

In Korea, the Minister will address an APEC Forum on the subject of trade liberalisation and meet with ministers, businesspeople and representatives of New Zealand firms.

“I will have some views to convey on the liberalisation of Korea’s beef market, access for our stonefruit products, and problems being experienced in the velvet market,” Mr Sutton said.

“I will also be making a plug for New Zealand technology exports to the Korean market.

“Following its spectacular economic recovery, with 10% growth last year, Korea is again a billion-dollar market for New Zealand and I want to ensure our businesses can make the most of their opportunities there.”


ENDS

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