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Trade Minister To Visit Singapore And Hong Kong

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton leaves New Zealand today for a four-day trip to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Mr Sutton is going to Singapore to take part in the first annual review of the Closer Economic Partnership agreement with counterpart George Yeo. The trade agreement came into force in January this year.

Mr Sutton said the New Zealand-Singapore CEP had been a catalyst for many other trade agreements in the region, and it had cemented an excellent relationship between New Zealand and Singapore.

"New Zealand is well and truly on the radar screen in Singapore now. There has been considerable anecdotal evidence of Singaporean business taking a lot more notice of what New Zealand companies have to offer ? this review will be a good opportunity for both sides to explore the consequences of the agreement."

Mr Sutton will also speak at a meeting hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies and the New Zealand-Singapore Business Council.

>From Singapore, Mr Sutton goes to Hong Kong, to take part in a Pacific Economic Cooperation Council meeting. World Trade Organisation director-general Mike Moore is also taking part in the meeting.

Mr Sutton will also meet his counterpart Brian Chau, and the two are expected to discuss progress in the CEP negotiations between New Zealand and Hong Kong.

"Officials will be involved in another round of CEP negotiations in Hong Kong while I am there," Mr Sutton said.

"I hope to get an update on progress while I am in Hong Kong."


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