Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Asian FTA has potential, Goff tells ASEAN Summit

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade

10 April 2006
Media statement

Asian FTA has potential, Goff tells ASEAN Summit

A proposed Asian regional free trade agreement is consistent with New Zealand's own support for an APEC-wide agreement and steps already undertaken in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, Trade Minister Phil Goff told the Gateway to ASEAN Summit in Auckland today.

Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry last week announced that Japan would ask the ten ASEAN members, and China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand to consider launching free trade talks in 2008 as a precursor to the establishment of an East Asia economic community.

"The suggestion offers interesting potential," Mr Goff said today. "It also is consistent with New Zealand's desire for free trade agreements with Korea and Japan.

"There is some distance and numerous obstacles to be overcome for this proposal to achieve widespread support with the region. However we are fully supportive of further exploring ways to progress it."

Mr Goff said that while New Zealand’s focus at present was on a timely and comprehensive outcome of World Trade Organisation negotiations, it had consistently been a strong supporter of regional free trade deals.

"New Zealand is a strong supporter of the idea of a regional free trade agreement among APEC members. Under APEC, significant but not yet sufficient progress has been made towards the goals of removing tariffs in developed countries by 2010 and developing countries by 2020. Guidelines have also been set for ensuring bilateral free trade agreements more consistently meet high standards.

"New Zealand also played a lead role in the recent Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership negotiations with Brunei, Chile and Singapore – the first multi-party trade agreement linking Asia, the Pacific and Latin America.

"Bilaterally, we have recently finalised a deal with Thailand; started negotiations with Malaysia and ASEAN as a whole, and are currently in talks with China. We are considering possible talks with the Philippines, and the Gulf Cooperation Council with its six member states. We continue to pursue negotiations with the US and the prospects in the medium term of FTAs with Korea and Japan."

Mr Goff said good progress was being made in talks with the Chinese, although substantive differences still needed to be bridged as negotiations entered a crucial phase.

"A good quality agreement with China could boost New Zealand exports by between $200 and $400 million a year over 20 years.

"The Thai deal that came into force last year will see tariffs and quotas on all goods removed over time. Before the deal, more than 85 percent of New Zealand’s exports were subject to duties at the border. Today that figure is less than 50 percent, and our major exports such as infant milk food, attract no duty. By 2025 all our goods will enter duty free.

"The FTA with Malaysia will be our fourth with a member of ASEAN. Negotiations started last May and will hopefully be concluded later this month.

"The first round of talks on an ASEAN, Australia/New Zealand FTA was held last March, and the fifth round was last week in Rotorua. The target for completion of negotiations is March 2007, reflecting the fact that it is a more complex process than negotiating a bilateral FTA.

"However we are committed to an ambitious and comprehensive agreement because ASEAN collectively is now New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner.

"Our businesses did more than $2.3 billion dollars worth of goods trade into ASEAN markets last year, and this figure is growing by two to three per cent per annum.

"Some high quality agreements already exist between the CER partners and ASEAN members, and we want those agreements to be the basis for commitments in the current negotiations," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news