Jim Sutton Speech To Visiting Trade Delegation
29 April 2002
Singapore trade delegation reception
Chairman Neil Managh, chief executive Angus Davidson, members of the delegation, ladies and gentlemen: I would like to add my voice to the welcoming of this delegation from Singapore.
I understand this is the first such trade delegation to New Zealand from Singapore, co-hosted by the Pork Industry Board and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
While you are here, I hope you get to have a good look at our country, and particularly our pork industry.
New Zealand has only a small pork industry, but it is a market of very demanding connoisseurs in respect of all types of meat, so it is of necessity, a high quality industry. We are proud of the quality and taste of our pork meat products.
Till now, the New Zealand industry has been very much focused on the local market. It's a market that is significantly affected by the international market for pig meat, because we import about 30 per cent of all the pig meat consumed here. So when Russia stops buying so much pig meat, more flows here from countries such as Australia and Canada, affecting the prices local farmers can earn.
I believe a stable export market would provide a viable alternative for New Zealand producers and would stabilise returns and encourage growth within the industry. Producers are poised to take advantage of the opportunities offering in the international marketplace.
In common with our other meat sectors, the New Zealand pork industry has a very high health status. The top New Zealand producers are certainly among the best in the world. I hope you get a good view of the industry while you are here.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I would like to welcome this delegation most warmly ? even if the weather is not warm today.
I am very fond of Singapore, having spent a bit of time there in meeting with my trade minister counterpart, George Yeo, who I count as a good friend to me and to New Zealand.
I believe this initiative is a good example of how closer economic partnership between New Zealand and Singapore can benefit both nations, and is a model for how we might extend those benefits, particularly in relation to food and agri-products.
There is a good future between New Zealand and Singapore, economically through the trade in goods and services, but also through the social and cultural links we develop when we visit each other.
Thank you for coming to New Zealand to see how our industry works, and how we can work together for mutual benefit. I hope it is profitable for all involved.