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Sutton optimistic for WTO launch

19 October 2001 Media Statement

Sutton optimistic for WTO launch


Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton has added his voice to APEC’s call for the launch of a WTO Round.

Mr Sutton attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial meeting in Shanghai, China, on 17 – 18 October. He said APEC members were united in their commitment to a successful launch of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Round.

“Preparations undertaken for the fourth Ministerial meeting of the WTO are well advanced and many of my colleagues agree we are in a good position to get a Round off the ground.

“The terrorist attacks of September 11 and their impact on the already slowing global economy were of key concern for Ministers. But there was agreement from both developed and developing members on the need to continue to stand up against the threat of terrorism and move ahead with efforts to launch a new Round.”

While in Shanghai, Mr Sutton also held bilateral meetings with his APEC counterparts to discuss both bilateral and multilateral issues. Ministers welcomed the imminent accessions of APEC members China and Chinese Taipei to the WTO.

Mr Sutton commended the ongoing contribution of the APEC Business Advisory Council in maintaining pressure on APEC to speed up the APEC Food System’s implementation.

“As an agricultural exporting nation we are obviously interested to see trade in food products liberalised. We support the efforts of APEC to promote technological innovations on food production and processing.”

Mr Sutton acknowledged the contribution that APEC is making to strengthen markets and break down the barriers that prevent exporters from realising the benefits of market access opportunities, such as predatory pricing, anti-dumping, technical barriers and other non-trade barriers.

“A New Zealand study recently estimated that those barriers cost New Zealand exporters $NZ1 billion per annum. APEC’s collective efforts in this area can have significant returns for us.”


ENDS

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