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WTO Progress Applauded

WTO Progress Applauded

19 December 2005 PR 164 (2005)

Trade ministers have agreed to eliminate export subsidies by the end of 2013 - a significant achievement for the world trading system and New Zealand farmers, said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"Getting rid of subsidies will create a fairer trading system throughout the world," Mr Pedersen said from Hong Kong.

"While the actual removal of export subsidies is seven years away, farmers know that trade distorting payments are destined for the scrap heap and an improved trading environment is on the way," he said.

One example of the unfairness of subsidies is faced by the New Zealand dairy industry, which has suffered losses of up to $400 million annually due to subsidised dairy products being dumped on the world market.

Mr Pedersen attended the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial meeting with Federated Farmers' vice president Don Nicolson.

"It has been a long winded and arduous effort to produce the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration. The WTO has much yet to achieve before the end of next year - but thanks to this declaration we are now in good shape to do this."
Mr Pedersen applauded the work of the New Zealand delegation led by Minister of Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton. Minister of Trade Phil Goff also attended the meeting.

"I would also like to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry," concluded Mr Pedersen.

ENDS

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