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Partnership Renewed In Washington

24 April 2006

Partnership Renewed In Washington

NZTLN is well pleased with the first-ever Partnership Forum session with US business, political, official and academic counterparts, said TLN Chair Philip Lewin from Washington today.

“Our New Zealand delegation included a number of key opinion formers and decision makers, from the senior ranks of New Zealand business and both sides of Parliament. Our US interlocutors were of a very high calibre also” added Mr Lewin.

“The wide range of issues and projects of mutual interest to New Zealand and the US was discussed throughout our two-day gathering. While there is no sudden breakthrough to report on the commercial front, I and my New Zealand colleagues came away with a real sense that our longstanding quest for a free trade agreement with the United States had been given renewed vitality as a result of this meeting”.

“NZTLN wishes to see freeing up of trade wherever it is possible. We are convinced that this can only be to the benefit of a small, distant and export-dependent economy such as New Zealand. While much of our focus has been on the United States in the bilateral sense, we also had some very candid and likeminded discussions with the Americans on where the currently troubled WTO Round might be heading”.

Mr Lewin, who is CEO of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency Positively Wellington Business, concluded: “Getting even better conditions for trade and commerce between our two countries will be of great and lasting benefit not only to New Zealand agriculture producers, but also to the many smart and creative businesses that Wellington region is now so justly becoming famous for.

Several examples of knowledge-based, service industry enterprises from our part of New Zealand – most obviously Peter Jackson and Weta Workshops, but also areas such as publishing, postal services, tourism, and education – came in for a lot of interest and approbation from the locals at our meeting as well.”

ENDS

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