Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


New Zealand Trade Minister visits Africa

Hon Tim Groser

New Zealand Trade Minister visits Africa

“Making sure the World Trade Organisation’s rules and commitments work for the benefit of all developing countries will be one of the key challenges for the next Director-General” says Trade Minister Tim Groser at the end of a visit to Africa.

Minister Groser was speaking at the conclusion of a five-day visit to Africa which has included meetings with Ministers and officials to discuss his candidature for Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). During his visits he took the opportunity to discuss a full range of trade issues with counterparts.

“Recently in Geneva I spent a lot of time talking to African colleagues at the WTO about the challenges they face in accessing the benefits of the multilateral trading system. My visit to Africa this week, including my very recent discussions with Ministers and officials in Morocco and Nigeria over the last few days, has further highlighted to me the fundamental importance of Africa to the global economy and the importance of better understanding the needs and interests of African countries.”

“The African group makes up over a quarter of the WTO membership and the region is of increasing significance to New Zealand” says Mr Groser.

“My visit provided an opportunity to discuss New Zealand’s trade and economic relationship with my counterparts, listen to African perspectives on the challenges they face in the multilateral trading system, and discuss their views on how to advance their economic growth prospects.”

"It is clear to me that Africa needs the WTO to continue to set and enforce terms of trade that will enable it to take advantage of growth opportunities through trade - with each other and with the rest of the world"

“I had some constructive discussions on how WTO mechanisms might be further leveraged to assist developing and least-developed countries to take full advantage of the benefits of the multilateral trading system. It would also be crucial for the WTO Director General to work closely with the incoming Secretary General of UNCTAD on these and other issues of concerns to Africa.”

“To enable WTO members to compete on equal terms, it is important to ensure that there is adequate flexibility for developing and least-developing countries in implementing their obligations under WTO Agreements, while upholding the WTO’s careful balance of rights and obligation.”

“I have great sympathy for the concerns raised about the high demands placed on least developed countries (LDC) in accession to the WTO and was pleased to see that the adoption of revised LDC Accessions Guidelines in 2012 has sought to redress this. But more needs to be done to ensure that LDCs can effectively derive benefits from the WTO system. As Director General I would be committed to playing an active role to encourage progress on the catalogue of LDC priority issues that demand on-going attention. As the first Chair of the WTO Sub-Committee on Cotton, I am very aware of how trade distortive policies in areas of key importance to LDCs impact on their potential and on-going engagement is needed by the wider membership to address these and other key issues.”

“This year is vital for the WTO which will be meeting at Ministerial level in Bali in December. How the concerns of developing countries, including African members, can be addressed will be important for whether the WTO’s agenda can be moved forward” says Mr Groser.

"It is clear to me that the "Aid for Trade" initiative, launched by WTO Ministers in 2005 will continue to be a major preoccupation for the incoming Director General, building on the outcomes of this year’s 4th Global Review of Aid for Trade and looking ahead to Bali and beyond. The initiative has made a strong start over the past few years and is starting to demonstrate promising and tangible benefits, but we are nowhere near its culmination. There remain important issues around ensuring the on-going availability and effectiveness of much of this assistance".

“My discussions have confirmed that despite the challenges, many African economies remain extremely dynamic engines for growth with huge potential to benefit from trade rules that address their interests and comparative advantage in a range of areas, including agriculture. I am convinced that the WTO can further enhance Africa’s potential to promote sustainable economic development in the decades ahead.”

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gaza.Scoop: UNRWA School, Ambulances Attacked - Gaza MOH

The Ministry of Health Gaza expresses its horror and outrage at the latest Israeli massacre moments ago at an UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons in Beit Hanoun. Ten people have been killed and there is a large number of wounded. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news