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Pacific trade mission scheduled for July

Pacific trade mission scheduled for July

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to lead a trade mission to the South Pacific in July.

Mr Sutton said the trade mission, from July 20 till August 1, would visit Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Guam. It will focus on the food and beverage, building and construction, forestry processing, and niche manufacturing sectors.

He said the trade delegation would visit Fiji from July 20 to 25, starting with a trade display for delegation members in Suva.

"The timing of the visit to Fiji ? our largest market in the Pacific, with exports of $268 million last year ? has been arranged to coincide with the annual meeting of the Fiji-New Zealand Business Council on July 23 and 24, where I will give a keynote address."

The delegation would visit Papua New Guinea from July 25 to 27, where another New Zealand trade display and seminar will be held.

Mr Sutton said exports to Papua New Guinea have been remarkably buoyant at $95.8 million last year, but the Pacific nation's large and growing population held out the prospect of significant trade opportunities.

"Our last trade mission to Papua New Guinea was about 10 years ago, so it is timely to go there again."

The trade mission will end at Guam, with another trade display and seminar being held while the mission is there from July 28 to 31.

"This is one of the more affluent markets in the Pacific, and currently most food and industrial goods are brought in from the mainland United States and the rest from Asia."

Mr Sutton said that, in all three countries, he would meet with ministerial counterparts to discuss trade issues relevant to the region.

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