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Concern over parts of NZ-Thailand FTA

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith - National Party Foreign Affairs & Trade Spokesman

11 March 2005

Concern over parts of NZ-Thailand FTA

National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesman, Lockwood Smith, says he is concerned that the free trade agreement with Thailand, due to come into effect on July 1, has no commitment to liberalise trade in services.

“The agreement sets aside negotiations on services for three years.

“When National negotiated CER with Australia, the provisions for services were world leading. Likewise, our bilateral agreement with Singapore advanced liberalisation of services significantly.

“This is our first bilateral trade agreement to exclude services and is a massive step backwards in that regard.

“Following statements by Green co-leader Ron Donald that his party is opposed to services being included in the Thailand FTA, questions should be asked as to the extent to which this decision has been influenced by the Greens.

“At yesterday’s summit on trade with China, this issue was raised as clearly of concern to New Zealand businesses when more than half of New Zealand’s GDP is made up of services,” Dr Smith says.


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