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APEC Decisions Good For New Zealand's Primary Indu

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE 2 JULY 1999

Associate Minister for International Trade, John Luxton today warmly welcomed the constructive progress that was made during the APEC Trade Minister's meeting which he attended.

"The decision to include fisheries and forestry products and a number of agricultural products in the sectors referred to the WTO for trade liberalising negotiations, is very pleasing."

In the fishing and forestry industries alone it has been estimated that removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers will add around $130 million a year to our $3 billion a year trade in these products.

"On trade issues, industry and Government are at one in seeking true trade liberalisation and an end to others undermining our markets through subsidies. Our exporters and our primary producers have a reputation for producing high quality products and are in a good position to make the most of the advantages of further trade liberalisation within APEC and elsewhere. "

"Negotiations on the food sector will be an integral part of the work to be done in the next three years. The WTO agriculture negotiations themselves are calling for 'substantial progressive reductions in support and protection' for agricultural products."

"APEC economies are already undertaking liberalisation initiatives individually. Many economies are reducing tariffs and improvising the conditions for businesses to trade in all products. The decisions of Ministers this week build on this and set the scene for the future, including in the broader context of the WTO."

The Trade Ministers meeting also discussed the APEC Business Advisory Council's Food System. Ministers at the APEC meeting in September will consider whether this proposal, which would deliver significant benefits to New Zealand and the region, can be accommodated within APEC's work programme.

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