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NZ and Singapore to sign CEP on 14 November

7 November 2000 Media Statement

NZ and Singapore to sign Closer Economic Partnership on 14 November

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton announced today that Helen Clark and Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong will sign a Closer Economic Partnership agreement between New Zealand and Singapore, in Singapore, on Tuesday, 14 November.

The announcement follows today's debate in the New Zealand Parliament on the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee's report into the CEP.

In a vote taken at the end of the debate, Parliament voted by 89 votes to 30 in favour of closer economic relations with Singapore.

"The agreement is good news for both countries," Helen Clark and Jim Sutton said.

"It will encourage trade in goods and services, promote investment, create jobs especially in service industries, and assist economic development.

"The CEP will eliminate tariffs on goods traded between the two countries.

"Trade in services will also be liberalised. Services generate eighty per cent of all New Zealand jobs, creating $8 billion in exports," Jim Sutton said.

"The CEP will reduce compliance costs for New Zealand exporters through jointly agreed disciplines on standards.

“The agreement will result in a deepening and strengthening of the already close trading relationship which exists between Singapore and New Zealand. We are both small nations, heavily dependent on trade for our livelihoods," Helen Clark said.


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