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CER A Template For Successful Trade Relationships

MEDIA STATEMENT
12 August 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CER A TEMPLATE FOR SUCCESSFUL TRADE RELATIONSHIPS

CER continues to be a tremendous success for Australia and New Zealand, according to Trade Minister Lockwood Smith.

Speaking at the conclusion of today’s CER Trade Minister’s Meeting in Canberra, Dr Smith said that the Agreement provided an excellent template for a successful trade and economic relationship.

"Through regular consultation, good-will and a commitment to co-operation, CER continues to deliver significant gains for both Australia and New Zealand, and today’s meeting with my counterpart Trade Minister, Mark Vaile, was no exception," Dr Smith said.

"One of the outcomes of today’s meeting was to reaffirm the basic objectives of CER in the context of Australia’s industry policy. We also agreed to review the effectiveness of the existing consultation provisions on industry assistance. Those who feel that Australia’s current approach to industry assistance is disadvantageous to New Zealand companies will welcome this outcome.

"We also acknowledged our Prime Ministers’ agreement to consider free trade agreements with other economies or regional groupings, and agreed to keep each other fully abreast of our perceptions of any opportunities to advance wider free trade agreements.

"Mr Vaile and I welcomed progress by our respective bio-security officials on a process for resolving the outstanding issues relating to differences in import standards resulting from recent changes by both countries on salmon imports.

"Since CER’s inception, total two-way trade between New Zealand and Australia has increased by over 400%. Over the past year, we’ve progressed a number of issues through CER, including access for New Zealand to the Australian content quota for broadcasting, access for salmon, and we’ve removed several inscriptions to the CER Services Protocol.

"Trade liberalisation continues to deliver mutual benefits to both parties within CER, and the CER agreement provides an excellent template for building successful trade and economic relationships,” Dr Smith concluded.

ENDS

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