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WTO development has huge significance for NZ

WTO development has huge significance for NZ

National welcomes today’s significant trade development at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, says National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman, Dr Lockwood Smith.

The 147 World Trade Organisation states have formally agreed on a framework for negotiating a reduction in agricultural subsidies.

The framework included the eventual elimination of export subsidies, reduction in domestic subsidies and improved access to markets through tariff reduction.

“The establishment of this framework is very significant for New Zealand, not only because agriculture is the backbone of our economy but also because trade and agricultural products have been the victim of protectionist policies in many of the world’s major markets,” says Dr Smith.

“When the negotiations are completed and the results implemented, this Doha round is likely to be worth more than $1 billion to the New Zealand economy.”

Dr Smith says that while there is still considerable work to be done, this is a very promising step forward, which was made, in large part, thanks to the efforts of Tim Grosser, New Zealand’s representative in Geneva, who chaired the vitally important agriculture committee.

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