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Trade barrier to NZ squash in Korea removed

Media Statement
21 April 2004

Trade barrier to NZ squash in Korea removed

Korea has reduced a trade barrier to New Zealand squash exports, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said that recently Korean quarantine authorities had ordered the re-shipping or destruction of several imported consignments of New Zealand squash because of the presence of a fungus.

"New Zealand has consistently argued that this fungus ? Verticillium Luteo Album ? should not be considered a quarantine pest because it does not damage the product and because evidence suggests it is already in Korea."

Mr Sutton said authorities here received written confirmation from Korean authorities last week that the fungus has been removed from Korea's plant quarantine pest list, effective immediately.

"This means that New Zealand squash exporters will be able to export squash to Korea with considerably more confidence."

New Zealand squash exports to Korea totaled US$ 2.16 million last year, and this is expected to increase this year.

ENDS


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