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Minister To Open New Zealand Trade Fair In Fiji

9 July 2002

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to go to Fiji tomorrow to open a trade fair of New Zealand exporters.

Mr Sutton said this week's trade fair was the first New Zealand fair to be held in Fiji for more than two years.

"Fiji is our 23rd largest trading partner, taking more than $217 million of our exports last year. Among our top export products are machinery, meat, dairy products, vegetables, iron and steel, paper, plastic, and pharmaceutical products."

He said New Zealand regarded its relationship with Fiji as an important one. Fiji was a significant member of the Pacific region.

"That's why a Cabinet minister is attending this fair. Even in the middle of a general election campaign, the Government is doing what it can to promote exports. The message is that New Zealand is open for business, we are looking to build on the solid foundations that have been laid over many years, and the future looks good."

There will be 25 companies attending the fair, ranging from fruit juice company Pinto and wine company Nobilo, to housing and construction companies such as Fletcher Aluminium, Nuplex Industries, and Signature Building Systems.

At the same time, Trade NZ is running a "Buy NZ and Win" competition and promotion in major supermarkets and stores in Fiji from July 12 till August 2. About 65 brands of New Zealand goods as well as New Zealand beef, lamb, and fresh vegetables and fruit are taking part.

"This promotion will help grow the market for New Zealand products, which will help our exporters as well as the retailers that sell their products."

Mr Sutton leaves for Suva on Wednesday morning and returns to New Zealand on Friday night.

Ends

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