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MFAT Briefings To Incoming Government Published

4 September 2002

Foreign Affairs And Trade Briefings To Incoming Government Published

Trade is vital to New Zealand's future well-being, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said the briefings to the incoming Government written by Trade NZ and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, published today, demonstrated that companies had to be encouraged to develop new export markets in order to lift living standards for all New Zealanders.

He said the government's most important task in the next three years would be to improve the conditions for growth. Increasing the number of exporters and widening and deepening our exports is a key part of that.

By adopting an appropriate mix of policies between the two extremes of hands-on and hands-off government, it would be possible to return New Zealand to the top half of the developed world, Mr Sutton said.

The Doha Development round of world trade negotiations were an ideal opportunity for New Zealand to achieve goals of eliminating agricultural export subsidies, reducing tariff barriers, and increasing market access, he said. More trade missions with accompanying business delegations would be made during the next three years so that our export effort could be properly focused.

"We all do better when we can concentrate on producing what we do best, and trading with others to obtain other items we want. When nations can apply their competitive advantage, without distortions to the international trade system caused by others dumping or subsidizing, the living standards and welfare of all can be improved."

Mr Sutton said improving New Zealand's export capability was an important part of the Government's proposal to economically transform New Zealand, and to return to the upper half of the OECD performance table.

The briefing papers are available on the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry website ( www.mfat.govt.nz) and on the Trade NZ website ( www.tradenz.govt.nz ).

Ends


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