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Thai-New Zealand Formal Negotiations Start

Media Statement
14 June 2004

Thai-New Zealand Formal Negotiations Start

Negotiations on a Closer Economic Partnership trade agreement with Thailand start in Wellington tomorrow, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said an information bulletin outlining the process for the negotiations and New Zealand's objectives was available on the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry website www.mfat.govt.nz. It was also being circulated to people who had registered an interest in the negotiations.

He encouraged businesses and others with an interest in Thailand to make their interests known to the ministry's negotiators.

"It is good to see formal talks getting underway. There is a lot to gain on both sides to successfully conclude this process.

"Since the agreement last October between Prime Minister Helen Clark and Thai prime minister Thaksin to conclude a CEP, our two countries have worked closely together on a joint study and on preparing the ground for negotiations.

"It's clear from discussions with the Thai Commerce Minister at last week's APEC trade ministers' meeting in Chile that there is a strong shared commitment to the process and to the November target for finishing negotiations.

"The joint study showed there would be mutual benefits to New Zealand and Thailand from building closer trade and economic ties through such a trade agreement."


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