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APEC Doomsayers On Wrong Track Says McKinnon

21 June 1999
For Immediate Release


Foreign Minister Don McKinnon said the anti-APEC lobby clearly did not understand what APEC was all about, and seemed intent on using APEC as another excuse to criticise the business community.

Mr McKinnon was commenting today on the anti-APEC stance taken by the 'APEC Monitoring Group' in an advertisement in this morning's Dominion newspaper.

"The doomsayers must stop looking at APEC as some sort of right-wing financial conspiracy and wake up to what APEC is really all about - creating the opportunity for economic and job growth.

"They need to realise that progress within APEC means real benefits for small and medium size businesses in Onehunga, the Hutt Vally, or Hornby, as much as for big businesses. APEC will help all businesses create more jobs. What on earth can be wrong with that!

"The fact is that if we can make real progress on issues like tariff reductions and trade facilitation through the APEC process, removing obstacles for the New Zealand exporter, we stand to add up to 1.6 % to our GDP and increase export volumes by 7%. That all adds up to one thing - more jobs for New Zealanders.

"Business is the engine room of New Zealand, and through processes like APEC, the Government is keeping its side of the bargain - business creates the goods and services and government makes it as easy as possible to get them to market at competitive prices.

"New Zealand faces a very stark choice - stand outside APEC as the critics want us to do, and let others decide our future, or belong to APEC and ensure that we have an input into decisions that effect the lives of all New Zealanders - decisions that would be made whether New Zealand was at the APEC table or not," Mr McKinnon said.


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