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Jim Sutton to travel to Singapore and Brunei

Jim Sutton to travel to Singapore and Brunei

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to visit Singapore and Brunei, leaving tomorrow.

Mr Sutton will visit Singapore principally to support a major series of events promoting the America's Cup events in Auckland later this year and encouraging Singaporeans to visit New Zealand.

"I will also use the opportunity to promote New Zealand to leading business people as an highly attractive destination for investment ? and who might wish to explore opportunities or investment in the course of seeing the excitement of the America's Cup unfold."

Mr Sutton will also launch the New Zealand Business Development Centre at the PhaseZ.Ro facility.

He said this centre was the first "beach head" facility to be set up under a new Trade NZ programme. Earlier this year, the Government allocated $2 million for new initiatives aimed at helping new economy companies to set up offshore marketing bases amongst their customers.

"More and more new economy companies offering innovative and highly specialised products and services are exporting early in their lives because of their limited domestic or Australian market opportunities. These "beach head" facilities will give them a friendly first platform in key markets."

He will meet with Singaporean Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs Raymond Lim.

>From Singapore, Mr Sutton will go to Brunei, which is hosting a meeting between Association of South East Asian Nations trade ministers and the trade ministers of New Zealand and Australia.

"Top of the agenda there is building on progress towards a linkage between the ASEAN Free Trade Area and CER. This is an important goal for New Zealand."

Mr Sutton said greater integration and the reduction of trade barriers would benefit New Zealand businesses operating in this dynamic region.

In the year to June 2001, our exports to ASEAN increased 44 per cent to $2.8 billion. Imports from the region increased 23 per cent over the same period to $2.5 billion.

"Over time, the CEP process should benefit all twelve economies."

The ASEAN countries are Brunei, Cambodia Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

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