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Goff to join trade ministers seeking WTO progress

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade

19 May 2006
Media statement

Goff to join trade ministers in seeking WTO progress

Trade Minister Phil Goff flies out to Paris on Sunday, where a meeting of trade ministers next week is expected to urge world leaders to get the World Trade Organisation's Doha Development Round talks back on track.

"Deep and continuing divisions between countries have slowed the Doha Round negotiations despite intensive efforts by negotiators in Geneva to make progress," Mr Goff said.

“Next week's meeting in Paris presents an important opportunity to find a way of raising the tempo of those negotiations.

"All WTO members must redouble their efforts if we are to secure a successful outcome to Doha. New Zealand will continue to be actively engaged across all aspects of the negotiations, because we are determined to do all we can to see the round concluded."

The Paris meeting will be attended by 12 WTO trade ministers, including United States Trade Representative designate Susan Schwab, European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, Japanese Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, and Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile.

The ministers will be in Paris for the OECD’s annual two-day Ministerial Council Meeting, where they will discuss the global short-term economic outlook and direction for the OECD in the year ahead, as well as WTO progress.

The OECD meeting will also see current Secretary-General, Donald Johnston, end his second five-year term. Former Mexican finance minister Angel Gurria will take up the position from 1 June.

Mr Goff will also hold a series of bilateral meetings while in Paris, including with French Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie and Minister for Overseas France, François Baroin.

He will return home via London, where he will hold talks with new British Defence Secretary Des Browne. Mr Goff will also meet with the Queen's Private Secretary to discuss the case of Lance Sergeant Haane Manahi, who was recommended for, but did not receive, a Victoria Cross during the Second World War.


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