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CER Talks To Be Held In Australia

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to go to Australia today to attend the annual CER talks.

Mr Sutton said the Closer Economic Relationship trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia was one of the most mature and comprehensive trade agreements in the world.

"This meeting is a good opportunity for my Australian colleague Mark Vaile and I to review how the economic relationship between our two countries is going and for us to look forward to how we want it to develop in the future."

He said it was also a useful chance for the two ministers to discuss regional and multilateral issues, particularly in the build-up to the World Trade Organisation Meeting in Doha, Qatar, in November. As agricultural trading nations, New Zealand and Australia potentially have a lot to gain from a new trade round that could grant greater access in key markets for agricultural products.

Business people from both sides of the Tasman would also be involved in the talks, Mr Sutton said.

The four New Zealand business people accompanying Mr Sutton to the talks are: David Truscott, chairman of the Australia-New Zealand Business Council and chairman of Mason Engineers NZ Ltd; John Jenner, executive director of the Australia-New Zealand Business Council; Chris Moller, deputy chief executive of Global Dairy Co and group managing director of NZ Milk Products; and Tony St Clair, chief executive of Federated Farmers of NZ.

The CER talks are to be held at Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales.

Mr Sutton will return to New Zealand on Friday, August 17.


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