NZ and Colombian Primary Industries Ministerial statement
8 March 2013
New Zealand and Colombian Primary Industries Ministerial statement
Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and his Colombian counterpart Andres Felipe Garcia Azuero have issued a joint statement agreeing to look for areas of strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Mr Guy expressed his desire to see deeper cooperation with Colombia through sharing New Zealand's knowledge and technology.
“We have a proven track record of lifting productivity at the farm gate through innovation, technology and modern farming practises,” says Mr Guy.
“New Zealand currently produces almost four times as much milk per cow than is produced in Colombia, which is why they want to tap into our skills and expertise.
“Colombia is an important strategic partner for New Zealand. With an abundance of natural resources, fertile soils with untapped potential, a well-educated and young workforce, and a population of 46 million, Colombia is on track to become South America's second largest economy.
“Colombia is addressing its domestic security issues, and has one of the most stable and pro-business frameworks in the region. With forecast growth of 5% per annum over the next decade, it is in New Zealand's interest to develop a close partnership.
“New Zealand feeds around 40 million people worldwide, roughly the population of Colombia, and exports to over 160 countries. A partnership with Colombia offers opportunities for New Zealand companies to enter into joint ventures and offers significant potential to increase our exports of agricultural services.
"Colombia has the land and New Zealand has the expertise," says Mr Guy.
This follows the announcement by the Prime Minister that New Zealand would commit $4 million to develop a cooperation project to improve the production, trade and businesses of Colombian small-scale milk producers.
Both sides acknowledged the important work of the Global Research Alliance, of which both countries are members. The Alliance works to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from food production while increasing agricultural productivity.
“With the positive comments made by the Colombian President, and the Colombian commitment to opening a Consulate in Auckland, I am confident that this visit marks the start of a very strong agricultural partnership between New Zealand and Colombia.
“I am also excited to hear that a group of 150 Colombian farmers are interested in visiting New Zealand later this year. This will be a great opportunity to show case what New Zealand agriculture has to offer and to build long term relationships between our countries,” says Mr Guy.