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DCANZ Welcomes FTA Launch

March 31, 2005

DCANZ Welcomes FTA Launch

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed the announcement that New Zealand and Malaysia are to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement.

“With Malaysia being New Zealand’s main trading partner within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and one of the top ten markets for New Zealand dairy products in the world, we strongly support building a closer economic relationship with them,” DCANZ Chairman Earl Rattray said.

Mr Rattray said that although multilateral trade liberalisation remained DCANZ’s foremost objective, bilateral negotiations could also deliver useful benefits.

“While Malaysia’s tariffs on dairy imports are low by world standards, we would like to see them go to zero to improve the competitiveness of New Zealand-origin product. Moreover an FTA can significantly improve the in-market business environment by aligning our policies and practices in areas such as regulation and standards,” he said.

Malaysia is the largest market for New Zealand’s dairy products in the South East Asia region. Dairy products represent around half of New Zealand’s total exports to Malaysia.

Malaysia has a large milk recombining and processing industry, supplying both local and overseas markets, which relies on imported dairy ingredients.

- Ends -

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