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Goff visits Fiji for Trade Ministers Meeting

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Trade

19 June 2006

Goff visits Fiji for Forum Trade Ministers Meeting

"How to ensure trade will work to the advantage of social and economic development in the Pacific forum countries will be the key theme for the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting this week," says Trade Minister Phil Goff.

Mr Goff will visit Nadi for the annual meeting of the region's Trade Ministers, on 21 June, before conducting a short bilateral visit to Fiji.

"New Zealand has a strong interest in the development of the Pacific to promote regional prosperity, stability and security.

"Removal of barriers to trade within the region is one path to achieving this, but needs to be done in a way and at a pace that ensures its success and deals with any adverse consequences."

Mr Goff will hold trade and defence talks and meet with Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Trade Minister Kaliopate Tavola, Minister of Home Affairs (Defence) Vosanibola and other Ministers. He will also meet with the Secretary General of the Pacific Forum, Greg Urwin.

"Fiji is our most significant Pacific export market, accounting for nearly NZ$300 million of exports.

"Fiji is also an important Pacific defence partner that makes a real contribution to regional missions, such as the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands.

"This visit is a reflection of the importance New Zealand places on deepening bilateral trade and defence relationships with Fiji," Mr Goff said.


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