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Trade Prospects With Russia Improving


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

24 April 2001

TRADE PROSPECTS WITH RUSSIA IMPROVING


Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Phil Goff said Russia's growing economy offered new opportunities for New Zealand.

Mr Goff made the comments at a business breakfast in Moscow attended by Russian and New Zealand business people.

"We welcome approaches that have been made to us to source meat products from New Zealand in addition to our traditional dairy exports. But it goes beyond this. New season New Zealand apples will soon be arriving in Russia. There is a growing consumer market for other food products such as kiwifruit and fish.

"I am pleased to meet today with representatives of our growing education services sector. We are strong in Asia, it is timely to extend the sale of New Zealand education services to this part of Europe," said Mr Goff.

To assist exporters breaking into the Russian market, Mr Goff indicated that New Zealand would soon open a Consulate in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

Mr Goff said Martin Tate, an experienced dairy trader who knew Russia and the Far East well, is the proposed Honorary Consul.

"This is the Pacific gateway to Russia. It makes sense to have a presence on the ground," Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff noted New Zealand has a heavy involvement in negotiations with Russia over its accession to the WTO.

"Once China joins, Russia will be the last major economy to become a member of the WTO. The WTO negotiations gives us the chance to lock in low tariffs on agricultural imports and ensure Russia does not subsidise the production and export of its own agricultural production.

"In my talks with Deputy Development and Trade Minister Matarov, I made it clear we would welcome Russia as a WTO member, but on terms consistent with WTO goals of freeing up trade," said Mr Goff.

ENDS


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