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New Zealand Welcomes Taiwan's WTO Membership

3 January 2002

Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organisation means that the apple export trade has been liberalised, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Taiwan officially became a member of the World Trade Organisation as of 1 January 2002, Geneva time (2 January 2002, New Zealand time).

Mr Sutton said that as of today, the current arrangements for restricted access by New Zealand apple exporters will be replaced by a tariff-only regime.

The practical effect of this change is that all New Zealand exporters will be able freely to export apples to Taiwan as from January next year, provided that they meet Taiwan's phytosanitary requirements.

"This is good news for the New Zealand apple industry and is a further positive step in liberalising trade in agricultural goods world-wide.

"This is just one example of the benefits for New Zealand exporters that will flow from Taiwan's membership of the World Trade Organisation."

Exports of New Zealand apples to all markets were effectively deregulated from October of this year, but restrictions had been maintained on access to Taiwan in order to manage New Zealand's 8,000 tonne country-specific tariff quota (CSTQ) in that market. The tariff quota remains in place until Taiwan formally accedes to the WTO, at which time the switch is made to a "tariff-only" regime for unlimited volumes of fruit. Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton has accordingly issued a general export consent for apple exports to Taiwan that will serve to remove the current restrictions on New Zealand.

Office of Hon Jim Sutton

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