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Minister flies to Geneva for WTO meeting

Hon Jim Sutton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Trade Negotiations, and Associate Minister for Rural Affairs

10 October 2005

Minister flies to Geneva for WTO meeting

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton leaves New Zealand today to attend an important meeting in Geneva as part of an effort to get the World Trade Organisation multilateral trade talks back on track.

Mr Sutton said the meeting of 10 invited ministers is to take stock of the agriculture negotiations by going through each of the three "pillars" ? market access, domestic support, and export competition - and other issues of interest as part of the build-up to the full ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December.

"This meeting is an important part of reaching consensus at the Hong Kong meeting, and the future of the international trading system depends on getting a good result.

"It is essential that we get a result where agricultural trade is on an equal footing with non-agricultural trade, and not hampered by unfair barriers. At the same time, nations that are big non-agricultural traders need to get something from these negotiations as well."

Mr Sutton said that as the government is still in caretaker mode, the trip had been cleared with other parties.

ENDS

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