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Jim Sutton To Lead Turkey Trade Delegation

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to lead a trade delegation to Turkey at the end of this month.

Mr Sutton said his trip would build on the groundwork laid by the Prime Minister Helen Clark during her trip to Turkey in April.

During the trip, Mr Sutton is to take part in a two-day Joint Economic Commission meeting and hold talks with relevant Turkish officials in Ankara, Turkey's capital city. The Joint Economic Commission is a formal meeting of New Zealand and Turkish ministers and officials. This will be its fifth meeting since establishment in 1991. For the first time, the commission will include business participation ? those business people accompanying Mr Sutton will be able to make presentations to Turkish officials.

As well as the commission, Mr Sutton will travel to Istanbul, the commercial centre of Turkey, to make calls with business people on relevant officials there.

Business people expected to travel as part of the delegation to Turkey work mainly in construction and earthquake engineering areas.

Mr Sutton said he hoped to be able to lift the two-way trade between New Zealand and Turkey, which was not as high as both countries would like. Last year, New Zealand exported $25.8 million of goods to Turkey, and during the same period, Turkey exported $27.8 million of goods to New Zealand.

"The two countries have a good relationship, built on our mutual war-time history at Gallipoli. We would like to make it a broad-based relationship based on respect and mutally beneficial trade."

Mr Sutton will leave New Zealand for Turkey on October 21 and will return to New Zealand on October 29.


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