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Positive development in trade with Thailand

Hon Jim Sutton MP for Aoraki

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Trade Negotiations, and Associate Minister for Rural Affairs

Media Statement|

8 July 2005

Positive development in trade with Thailand

Thailand has deferred a screening system for fruit and vegetable imports that would have damaged trade from New Zealand, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton told the Pipfruit NZ special general meeting in Havelock North that the first shipments of fruit and vegetables under the new trade agreement were arriving in Thailand now.

The Thai Closer Economic Partnership came into force on 1 July 2005.

He said that earlier concerns about a new proposed screening system in Thailand have been allayed as Thailand has delayed the introduction of that system for at least six months.

"We expect to have resolved the issue to our satisfaction by then."

Mr Sutton said the tariff reductions on fruit imports as part of the Thai CEP were significant. The Government is confident that the pipfruit industry would benefit from the new trade agreement.

"That was a key driver in our negotiation with Thailand: Australia already had one, and had tariff advantages, particularly in the fruit and vegetable sector. We needed to match that."

Mr Sutton said the multilateral World Trade Organisation negotiations were the Government's top trade priority.

ENDS

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