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Minister Meets EU Trade Commissioner

23 May 2002

New Zealand would seize opportunities to work with the European Union where both parties had common goals, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton, speaking from Brussels, said he had an "excellent" meeting with European Union trade commissioner Pascal Lamy.

He said New Zealand and the European Union, despite some differences, shared a common desire to make speedy and far-reaching progress on the World Trade Organisation's Doha development agenda.

"We agreed to work together to try and resolve differences between parties on key issues, such as competition and investment. We also discussed how the gap between rich and poor countries might be bridged in the World Trade Organisation."

Mr Sutton and Commissioner Lamy also talked about recent policy decisions in the United States and agreed that steel safeguard measures and the Farm Bill have made the Doha negotiating environment more difficult. They agreed that others would now have to work harder to lift the pace in Geneva.

Mr Sutton pressed the New Zealand case on a range of issues, most particularly on agricultural liberalisation and the need to discipline fish subsidies.


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