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Goff to explore North Africa trade opportunities


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade


January 14 2008
Media statement

Phil Goff to explore trade opportunities in North Africa

Trade Minister Phil Goff leaves today for a 10-day visit to North Africa, during which he will visit Algeria, Libya and Morocco.

Mr Goff’s visit is the first by a senior New Zealand minister to the region for nearly a decade. He will meet with ministerial counterparts and business leaders in each country, and will be accompanied by New Zealand business representatives.

“North Africa is a region that represents significant potential economic opportunity for New Zealand. Although from a small base, New Zealand’s trade with Algeria, Libya and Morocco has grown impressively over the last few years,” Mr Goff said.

“In the year to June 2007, New Zealand’s exports to these three markets totalled over $255 million – a more than 50% increase since 2005.

“Agriculture, particularly dairy, currently dominates New Zealand’s trade profile with these countries, with Algeria of particular importance as one of Fonterra’s leading markets in the wider Middle East and Africa region.

“I will be raising with my ministerial counterparts among other things the importance we attach to the reduction and removal of tariff and other trade barriers to New Zealand agricultural products, which remain an impediment to New Zealand exporters.

“While agriculture remains the key driver for our exports to the region, there also exists significant potential for New Zealand businesses to expand trade in ‘new economy’ areas.

“Information technology, telecommunications, specialised manufacturing and education are just some examples of areas of relevance to the region, in which New Zealand has expertise and a proven track record of exporting.

“I am very pleased that New Zealand industry representatives, including Fonterra, 4RF Communications, Tait Electronics and Sealord, will accompany me during the visit.

“My visit takes place at a time when Algeria, Libya and Morocco are all looking to undertake significant infrastructure investment, which could lead to important new opportunities for New Zealand. Establishing contacts at the Ministerial level, therefore, is very timely” Mr Goff said.


ENDS

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