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Global Spirits Industry Meets WTO'S Mike Moore

Representatives of distilled spirit producers, the 'World Spirits Alliance', yesterday met World Trade Organisation Director General Mike Moore in Geneva to lend their strong support for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.

The Distilled Spirits Association of New Zealand together with associations representing producers from Australia, Canada, The Caribbean, Europe, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the United States believes that multilateral trade negotiations are the best means of securing further trade improvements in areas of concern to Alliance members, such as trade liberalisation, reduction or elimination of subsidies, technical barriers to trade, geographical indications and trade in services.

Among the specific issues discussed, the Alliance stressed the need for any new round to better strengthen geographical indications and trade marks, to reduce prolific labelling requirements and enhance measures to facilitate the trade in distilled spirits said Association Chief Executive Thomas Chin.

Mr Chin said: "The establishment of the WTO was a huge step forward for the international trading community. There is now an urgent need to address many of the challenges and issues arising from Seattle. We believe this can be achieved in a new round where the chances of securing a balanced outcome acceptable to all WTO members are greatest".

And speaking after the meeting, Mr Moore expressed appreciation for the balanced positions articulated by the Alliance representatives, which sought to take account of the interest of their members but also acknowledged the interests of both developed and developing countries.

Mr Moore urged the Alliance representatives to continue to work constructively alongside their respective Governments.

ENDS
Note for editors:

1. The spirits industry is a significant player on the world stage. One study
estimates that consumers spend in excess of $US 135 billion on spirit drinks
and that nearly 3½ million jobs are dependent on the industry. Annual
trade flows are in excess of $US 10 billion.

For further information contact
Distilled Spirits Association of New Zealand Inc.
Ph: 0064 9 300-5930
Fax 0064 9 300-5931
email: tchin@distillers.co.nz

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