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Sutton to Korea to promote trade

28 February 2006

Sutton to Korea to promote trade

Minister of State Jim Sutton leaves for Korea on Wednesday to promote a closer bilateral trading relationship, and to explore the idea of a future Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

Mr Sutton will speak at a seminar for Korean Parliamentarians and other guests, jointly hosted by the Korean National Assembly and the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul.

The Minister and diplomat David Walker, head of the New Zealand team currently negotiating an FTA with China, will also undertake a programme to reassure the Korean agricultural sector that New Zealand exports pose no threat to local producers.

"There are few countries with more complementary economies than Korea and New Zealand," Mr Sutton said.

"While an FTA may be some way off, it would provide real benefits to the people of both countries. The counter-seasonal nature of the two countries' growing cycles would ensure a steady supply of high-quality agricultural produce year round for both markets.

"Studies by the Korean Institute of Economic Policy and by New Zealand's Institute of Economic Research found a net economic benefit to both countries if they were to conclude an FTA," Mr Sutton said.

After visiting Korea, Mr Sutton will fly to China where he will promote a range of New Zealand trading interests in Shanghai, Nanjing and Fuzhou.

ENDS

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