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NZAID makes grant to boost Pacific trade

3 July 2003 Media Statement

NZAID makes grant to boost Pacific trade

The government will contribute an additional $750,000 over the next three years to assist Pacific Island countries get access to New Zealand markets, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton, in Fiji at the Pacific Forum Trade Ministers meeting, said the funding will come from the government’s aid agency, NZAID.

Included in this funding is a new position within the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry to provide a dedicated officer to process more rapidly Pacific Island Country market access applications. NZAID will fund this position for the first year, after which it will be fully funded by MAF.

Mr Sutton said the rest of the funding would be used to support the work of the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme with its focus on customs, quarantine and standards and conformance issues.

“These are the sorts of challenges that prevent Pacific Island Countries developing trade with their regional trading partners,” he said.

This assistance will continue to be delivered through a mix of NZAID’s regional and bilateral initiatives, and the new funding will be available from 1 November 2003.

Aid Minister Marian Hobbs said New Zealand was a strong supporter of improved trade access for the Pacific Island Countries.

“We have already contributed $0.25 million to the Regional Trade Facilitation Fund and continue to fund the operations of the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission in Auckland,” Marian Hobbs said from Wellington.

ENDS

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