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Trade Opportunity for the Taking


27 October 2009

Media Release

Trade Opportunity for the Taking


The Free Trade Agreement signed with Malaysia today is a great opportunity for NZ businesses if they choose to take it, suggests Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Trade internationally over the last year has been volatile, but any analysis you do of potential growth tells you that growth within Asia holds the best prospects for NZ exporters, he said. Malaysia is one of four ASEAN partners with trade with NZ that exceeds a billion dollars. If you combine this with the NZ – China Free Trade Agreement, the ASEAN Agreement due to be implemented in January, and potential agreements with Korea and India, they all signal significant opportunity for NZ businesses, but we will need to work on taking advantage of these trading platforms Government is providing for business, Mr Barnett said.

It is also significant that NZ’s export activity is moving beyond our traditional relationships built on product alone. Services are now growing and making an important contribution to NZ’s export earnings from the ASEAN.

What NZ exporters must do is grow their exports off the trade agreements Government is providing, and that will mean determining what our competitive advantages are – and let me suggest that for Asia, attention to the needs of specific customer segments and outstanding customer service will need to be two of those competitive advantages, Mr Barnett said.

Michael Barnett is in Malaysia with the Prime Minister and will travel to Tokyo for bi- lateral trade talks on Wednesday


ENDS

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