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NZ concludes WTO negotiations with Viet Nam

NZ concludes WTO negotiations with Viet Nam

New Zealand and Viet Nam have formally concluded bilateral market access negotiations as part of Viet Nam’s application to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Trade Negotiations Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"New Zealand has substantial trading interests to secure in Viet Nam, which will over time become an increasingly important trading partner. The WTO accession negotiations were a vital, one-off opportunity for New Zealand to secure certainty of access on reasonable terms for its key goods and services exporters," Mr Goff said.

“The result is a fair one for both sides, with each having to be flexible and make concessions in order for agreement to be reached. The agreement is an important step towards Viet Nam’s goal of joining the WTO."

Negotiations have taken place over three years and became intensive in the last 12 months. They culminated in Jim Sutton leading a team of officials to Ha Noi in December, and final talks on services between officials earlier this month.

“The agreement sets maximum tariff levels for products that New Zealand has a particular interest in, and improves market access for some of our key exports. It also safeguards, and allows the future expansion of, New Zealand’s commercial interests in areas such as education and agricultural services,” Mr Goff said.

Viet Nam is a growing trade and economic partner for New Zealand. Current exports are valued at $140 million, with considerable potential in a number of areas for New Zealand companies, given the pace of change and development in the Vietnamese market place.

Viet Nam is still to complete bilateral negotiations with a few other WTO Members, and agree the overall terms of its accession in the WTO Working Party in Geneva.

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