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Minister Meets Brazilian Counterpart

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

13 March 2013 Media Statement

Minister Meets Brazilian Counterpart - Opportunities In 'The Giant Of Latin America'

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy was impressed by the size and scale of Brazilian agriculture when he met with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Mendes Ribeiro Filho in Brasilia today, at the end of a nine-day trade mission to Latin America led by Prime Minister John Key.

“In meeting with my counterpart I outlined the expertise, innovation, and efficiency which characterises New Zealand's agricultural sector,” says Mr Guy.

“With New Zealand's world-leading expertise, and Brazil's land and location, there are plenty of opportunities for our countries to collaborate and work more closely together.

“During the meeting I stressed that New Zealand and Brazil should try to work in partnership as agricultural exporters to reduce trade barriers and ease trade restrictions.”

Mr Guy says he and Mr Filho agreed to look at reducing trade costs and barriers, including tariffs, between the two countries.

“We have directed officials to work towards mutual recognition of accreditation schemes for our food products. This is a sensible step that cuts costs and delays for New Zealand exporters.”

Brazil has a population of 200 million people and over 200 million beef cattle. It also has 1.35 million dairy farmers and produces 33 billion litres of milk annually.

Mr Guy says the agricultural potential in Brazil is huge, with potentially millions of hectares waiting for development.

"Brazil is clearly the giant of Latin America and a natural leader in the region.

"With good pasture species, fertility and management Brazil can grow three times more grass than an average Kiwi dairy farm. It's a similar land mass to Australia - but instead of desert it is a green oasis.

"New Zealand investment in Brazil is estimated to have reached $NZ350 million, with the majority of this being in the agribusiness sector. While this is a good start, there's amazing potential."

Mr Guy says he has extended an invitation to Mr Filho to visit New Zealand in order to gain a greater understanding of what New Zealand has to offer Brazil.

"This positive meeting is an appropriate finish to the trade mission covering Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil. I have been overwhelmed by the high regard Latin Americans have for New Zealand, and am very excited by the potential for Kiwi agricultural exporters of both goods and services."


ENDS

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