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Peters encourages business links with Cooks

Peters encourages business links with Cooks

New Zealand and Cook Islands businesses should work together to explore trade and economic development opportunities that will benefit both countries, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in Rarotonga today.

Mr Peters and a delegation of New Zealand MPs, business representatives, NGOs and officials met with members of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce today to discuss ways to strengthen ties between the two private sectors.

The delegation also met with a cross section of Cook Islands business interests, including representatives from the tourism and fisheries sectors, which together account for the majority of the Cook Islands’ Gross Domestic Product.

Mr Peters said New Zealand provided support to the Cook Islands through its international development agency, NZAID, including funding for outer island infrastructure projects connected to tourism, and assistance for the Cook Islands’ Small Business Enterprise Centre.

“However that is only part of the story. We cannot overlook the pivotal role that the private sector plays in economic development. That is why fostering business-to-business links is so important. Valuable contacts made on this visit will be a good step forward in that process,” Mr Peters said.

In 2005, New Zealand exports to the Cook Islands accounted for $64.8 million.


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