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Goff Visit To Turkey Boosts Trade, Defence Ties

Goff Visit To Turkey Boosts Trade, Defence Ties

“The value of New Zealand trade ties with Turkey will get a major boost over the next year with a big increase in the number of Turkish students studying in New Zealand and with the start of livestock exports to Turkey”, says Trade and Defence Minister, Phil Goff.

“Turkey’s booming economy, with 35 percent growth over the last four years, and its eventual accession to the European Union, are creating new opportunities for New Zealand trade”, he says.

Mr Goff today completed a four day visit to Istanbul and Ankara.

“The Turkish Government has agreed to allocate up to ten percent of its new international student scholarships to New Zealand from 2007.

“That means more than 100 students a year could be studying subjects such as science, agriculture and forestry at universities like Massey, Lincoln and Canterbury.

“A positive experience by these students will provide the platform from which we can promote New Zealand as a tertiary education destination for many more students.

“Over 70,000 Turkish students study abroad each year. New Zealand has the ability to promote itself as a provider of high quality education at lower tuition and living costs than comparable Western countries and in an attractive and safe environment.

“In agriculture, we are close to finalising arrangements which will allow us from next year to export dairy cattle to Turkey for the first time. This trade could be worth tens of millions of dollars to New Zealand. Companies like AEL Bloodstock and PGG Wrightsons are poised to take advantage of this opportunity.

“While high tariff levels prevent trade in traditional areas like meat and dairy products, opportunities exist for animal husbandry and pasture management products and services.

“High tech goods and services, earthquake engineering and specialised manufactures are new areas in which New Zealand companies such as Fisher and Paykel, Metra and Beca are making progress.

“Meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Şener, Ministers for Agriculture Eker, National Education Çelik and Trade Tuzmen provided the opportunity to pursue New Zealand’s interests in these fields.

“To strengthen our economic relationship, we agreed that over the next six months or so we will commence negotiations for a Double Taxation Agreement and Air Services Agreement, and to conclude an arrangement for a Working Holiday Scheme.

“I also had the opportunity to meet Defence Minister Gönül and Foreign Minister Gül.

“Turkey’s location on the borders of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East gives it a strategically important location and a valuable perspective on trouble spots in which New Zealand takes a keen interest.

“I had excellent discussions with both Ministers on the outlook for Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

New Zealand and Turkey provide Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the neighbouring Afghanistan provinces of Bamyan and Wardak. We discussed our experiences in these and what might required for achieving peace and stability in the region”, Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff leaves Turkey today to travel to Jordan, Oman and Egypt.

ENDS

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