Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Trade reports excellent news, says National

23 April 2004

Trade reports excellent news, says National

Reports that ASEAN economic Ministers have recommended that Australia and New Zealand be invited to take part in discussions on a Free Trade Agreement is excellent news, says National's Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

"In 1999, Singapore Trade Minister George Yeo and I, along with our fellow Asean Trade Ministers, initiated a working group to study the possible benefits of bringing CER -- Australia and New Zealand -- into the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA). That work demonstrated the collective gains for the region to be enormous, many billions of dollars.

Dr Smith says there is now a great opportunity to make progress on this exciting concept, and he has called on the Labour-led Government not to "muck it up".

"In recent years, the only Free Trade Agreement that has been concluded is the one with Singapore. The previous National-led Government negotiated that agreement and I signed the Heads of Agreement with George Yeo in 1999. The Labour Government had to put only the finishing touches to it.

"Since then, the FTA with Hong Kong has stalled, the FTA with the United States is going nowhere and progress on the three-way deal (P3) involving Chile and Singapore has been very slow.

Dr Smith said the Government has in front of it a "marvelous opportunity" to lift New Zealand's economic fortunes to a higher plane. He said this development could also help galvanise progress at the World Trade Organisation by showing the Europeans that other parts of the world will progress trade liberalisation even if they are reluctant.

"Trade deals with ASEAN, the United States and China, plus P3 linking South America through New Zealand to South East Asia, would provide enormous investment and marketing opportunities for New Zealand businesses.

"Sadly, so far the Labour Government has been remarkably unsuccessful in concluding successful trade deals."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news