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New World Wine Producers' Agreement Initialled

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton has welcomed the formal conclusion in Adelaide of negotiations on a treaty to protect the expanding international wine trade from unnecessary regulatory barriers.

The treaty, negotiated by a group of government and industry representatives from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Chile and South Africa, countries with a shared interest in keeping international wine markets open, provides for the mutual acceptance by its parties of each other’s regulatory requirements on oenological (wine making) practices.

The four countries that initialled the treaty (New Zealand, Australia, the US and Canada) will now embark on their respective domestic approval procedures to sign and become party to the agreement and the Minister hopes the others represented in Adelaide can also sign it before long.

“This treaty will facilitate and protect overseas market access for New Zealand wine exports”, Mr Sutton said. “It is a very satifactory outcome to the negotiations that began at a meeting in Queenstown I hosted a year ago.”

The Agreement, which is open to any country willing to abide by its obligations, will assist the New Zealand wine industry’s continued impressive export performance while maintaining appropriate health and safety assurances for consumers and regulators.

“The fact that different countries produce wines differently should not be an obstacle to trade, and once in force this Agreement will ensure that among its parties, so I intend to take it to Cabinet shortly for approval. Indeed I commend the Agreement to all wine-producing countries and invite them to become parties to it alongside New Zealand,” Mr Sutton said


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