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Wellington Chamber Welcomes Hong Kong Talks

18 April 2001

For immediate release

Wellington Chamber Welcomes Hong Kong Talks

The upcoming trade negotiation with Hong Kong is exciting news for Wellington exporters, regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Philip Lewin said today.

Mr Lewin was commenting in response to an announcement from Hong Kong by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa that officials would now begin work on a bilateral Closer Economic Partnership.

Wellington exporters, particularly in innovative and knowledge-intensive areas such as engineering, telecommunications, film, software development, education, legal and environmental services, now stand to gain greater certainty of access and non-discrimination in the thriving Hong Kong economy – and ultimately, to other regional and global markets, Mr Lewin noted.

“We will be after new access opportunities for Wellington regional businesses, as a result of these negotiations”, he affirmed.

As with last year’s successful trade agreement with Singapore, continued Mr Lewin, there is also a very important strategic dimension. “A deal with Hong Kong will link New Zealand into the dynamic economies of North Asia, and will provide further impetus for new global trade talks”.

Mr Lewin noted that, as in all trade negotiations, the Government would need detailed information from exporters, as to any Hong Kong market access constraints or regulatory barriers encountered.

“I advise Wellington exporters to liaise with both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and ourselves, so that our negotiators have the fullest possible market access information. In this way, we can help to ensure a big outcome for Wellington and indeed New Zealand”.

ENDS

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