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Goff to Meet Trade and Defence Counterparts

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade
Minister of Defence

11 December 2006

Goff to Meet Trade and Defence Counterparts in the Middle East

Trade and Defence Minister Phil Goff today begins a two-week visit to the Middle East, where he will meet with counterparts in Turkey, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“My visit comes at a time of increased New Zealand engagement in the Middle East where we have significant economic and trading interests.

"Recent trade statistics show an increase in New Zealand’s exports to these markets where our traditional dairy and meat exports to the region continue to dominate our trade profile.

"There is growth in other areas such as construction materials and solutions, agricultural technology, ICT and medical equipment. There is strong growth in the education sector in Turkey, Oman and Saudi Arabia, and Emirates Airlines’ regular services to New Zealand are opening new Middle East tourism markets.”

"In Turkey, I will participate in the seventh session of Joint Economic Commission trade discussions, and speak to Turkish and New Zealand business and media representatives on areas of bilateral trade and economic potential.

“Last year the Prime Minister visited Turkey and we hosted the Turkish Prime Minister in New Zealand. Two visits by senior Turkish Ministers followed earlier this year. My visit will build on the increased momentum in the bilateral relationship.

"Jordan’s focus on modernisation and reform is opening up new opportunities for New Zealand to develop closer bilateral trade relations, particularly in the services sector.

“Trade will also be at the top of the agenda in Oman and Saudi Arabia, where I will be seeking to add impetus to our recently announced bilateral free trade agreement negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

"I will also discuss trade, defence and disarmament issues during a visit to Egypt where the establishment of New Zealand’s embassy in Cairo this year signals a significant development in our bilateral relationship.

"My visit provides an opportunity to engage with Egyptian ministers as the new post seeks to strengthen political, trade, education, tourism and other links, facilitate cooperation in multilateral organisations, and protect and foster our exports to this significant market", said Mr Goff.

Phil Goff will return to New Zealand on Saturday, December 23.

ENDS


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