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CER trade ministers to meet in Queenstown

CER trade ministers to meet in Queenstown

This year's CER trade ministers' meeting will be held in Queenstown on December 10 and 11, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said this year's meeting would be a larger one than usual, building on the work done as part of last year's celebration of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Closer Economic Relations agreement between New Zealand and Australia.

Australian trade minister Mark Vaile will be attending the Queenstown meeting, accompanied by Australian agriculture minister Warren Truss and Australian industry minister Ian McFarlane.

Accompanying Mr Sutton will be Commerce Minister Margaret Wilson and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton.

Mr Sutton said the CER agreement was one of the world's most mature and comprehensive trade agreements.

"Having said that, there are still further steps to take that will make it easier for our businesses to work together in each other's markets, and ultimately towards what will in effect be a single economic market between New Zealand and Australia."

He said he was delighted that three Australian ministers were able to attend the meeting.

Mr Sutton's annual meeting with Mr Vaile is later than usual because of a delay caused by the buildup to the Australian general election. CER trade ministers usually meet in August.

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