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Trade advisory group established

Trade advisory group established

An advisory group has been set up to advise the Government and provide cross-sectoral input into the Government's position on trade negotiations.

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said about twenty New Zealand leaders had been invited to form the group to provide feedback to the Government on overall process and progress with the World Trade Organisation Doha Development Agenda and other key trade negotiations.

Mr Sutton said members of the advisory group had been selected because of their personal and representative roles, to reflect the overall priorities of the Doha Round and our key national interests.

The advisory group will hold its first meeting in Wellington tomorrow.

Mr Sutton said now was an important time for New Zealand trade as WTO members prepared for the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Mexico next month, and the target date for conclusion of the Doha Round of 1 January 2005.

"We've got a huge amount at stake in a successful round, and we need to make sure we've got robust positions on all the negotiating issues. The group will help develop cross-sectoral perspectives, strategies and priority setting for New Zealand in such negotiations.

"We already are engaged actively in consulting on trade issues with a wide range of individual and sectoral consultations. But my intention with this group is to have a broader view from the private sector, to make sure we get it right strategically."

Mr Sutton said the group would meet at least twice a year.

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