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Shipley Speech - Post Apec

Post APEC address to
Carlton Hotel, Auckland
8.00am, Thursday 23 September 1999

Michael Barnett,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Last week we were all part of an extraordinary few days in New Zealand’s history.

 The Leaders of half the world’s economy and population were here for APEC,
 we had three simultaneous State visits from countries who really matter globally, and to New Zealand: the Presidents of the United States, China and Korea
 the most powerful group of business Leaders ever to visit were here for the APEC CEO’s Summit,
 and – if this wasn’t enough – the international response to the tragedy of East Timor was being formed, here, in New Zealand

People have a right to know what we got out of all the effort, and whether it was worthwhile for New Zealand.

I have no doubt that chairing APEC, and the associated State visits were good for this country.

The results speak for themselves.

The APEC Auckland Challenge, the name given to the Auckland Leaders’ Declaration, puts APEC back on track.

Leaders came to Auckland this year with our economies showing signs of recovery after the financial crisis of 1997-98.

We focussed on:

 what lessons we could take out of the crisis,
 what policies will best support sustained growth in the future,
 APEC’s social dividend: how can we ensure our economies and people benefit from growth

The Auckland Challenge has strong specific messages to which Leaders have attached their personal authority:

Firstly, we gave strong and unmistakable support to further trade liberalisation.

APEC spoke with a clear voice.

We committed ourselves, at Leaders’ level, to a new Round of trade negotiations in the World Trade Organisation.

And we have called on the other half of the world to match us. Leaders have called for negotiations to finish within 3 years, as a single package, with a focus on increased market access of benefit to all economies.

We have given President Clinton a strong signal of support to take into the WTO ministerial meeting at Seattle.

Achieving APEC’s goal of free trade in the region has been conservatively estimated as worth $1.3 billion annually (1.3% extra for our total economy annually). Extending this to the rest of the WTO and being able to enforce agreements is surely a prize we should be fighting for.

APEC’s pledge to seek the elimination of export subsidies is good news for New Zealand exporters.

We should have no illusions of easy progress on this score. Many Europeans, for example, are firmly attached to the umbilical cord of agricultural export subsidies.

But now we have a strong Asia Pacific mandate to wind subsidies back and pursue a more level playing field for our exporters.

Watch this space. Progress on this front will be a top New Zealand priority for the new WTO Round.

Beyond agriculture, APEC advocates comprehensive liberalisation of industrial products and services. And we want to avoid the introduction of new forms of protectionism in cyberspace – the new frontier of trade.

APEC also continues to seek early liberalisation in the eight so-called Accelerated Tariff Liberalisation sectors, including fish and forestry.

And we want to ensure that WTO rules support the delivery of improved market access resulting from the forthcoming negotiations.

Secondly, Leaders set out a new challenge for APEC’s work – building domestic markets that are stronger as well as open.

As tariffs at the border come down what happens behind the border will increasingly determine growth, trade and investment.

New Zealand’s new initiative to bring Competition and Regulatory Reform into the heart of APEC’s work program was picked up with enthusiasm by APEC as a whole.

Individual economies will now draw on New Zealand’s principles for open and transparent markets as each of us move towards the Bogor goals.

We adopted the APEC Food System. The Food System, in essence, is all about achieving regional food security through sharing technology, infrastructure, and promotion of trade in food trade products.

We have also set in place steps to improve APEC's mechanisms for individual and collective actions to provide a clearer roadmap for economies to reach the Bogor goals.

Much to the surprise- even horror! – of some of our officials, Leaders agreed to add new ‘bite’ to APEC’s trade agenda. We instructed Ministers to intensify work on trade facilitation – in such areas as accelerated customs procedures – and to pursue the complete elimination of associated non-tariff trade barriers.

We had an intense debate on the issue of international and domestic financial policies. Again, we called directly for work to develop a set of new banking standards for possible adoption by APEC economies;

Thirdly, Leaders grappled with the need to ensure a social dividend for our people from the work of APEC.

Leaders recognised their responsibility to ensure successful participation by people in the global economy.

Under New Zealand’s Chair, APEC’s work this past year has seen increased dialogue with business large and small, the labour unions and the wider community, and a new framework for women to enhance their ability to contribute to and benefit from prosperity in the region.

Taken together these outcomes ensured a successful and focussed APEC meeting.

Putting all this together was no mean feat.

I pay tribute to the New Zealand APEC CEO’s Summit Board led by John Maasland, and our ABAC members chaired by Philip Burdon, for putting the blowtorch of ambition and ‘stretch’ onto Ministers and Leaders.

Your calls for APEC to go farther and faster on trade, and to lift our game on individual reforms, could not have been better timed.

Thank you for that support.

Before, during and after APEC itself I met formally with 9 Leaders, and informally with many more, around the APEC meetings.

Those meetings saw good results particularly in the area of trade:

Prime Minister Goh and I agreed to start negotiations on a NZ/Singapore Free Trade Agreement. We will be working to finish those negotiations by the end of November

It will be our first new FTA since CER

Because both of our economies have low tariff protection the direct benefits to business will not be so obvious. But we have a wider agenda.

This will be a 'state of the art' FTA which will involve trade in services as well as goods. This will be a major step forward for improving trade between our two countries.

We invite others in the APEC region to join. By adopting a clean and open agreement we will have set a standard against which to judge other FTAs.

We hope others will follow suit and join us.


We have Agreed with Singapore and Chile to work together to pursue the broader P5 free trade initiative;

Chile has agreed to scope a New Zealand/Chile FTA;

We have interest from the US, and Australia, to think through their participation

APEC Logistics

A story of success and sweat!

The demands of hosting thousands of visitors, finding hotel rooms for them, running several major meetings simultaneously, and ensuring security – and doing so with a New Zealand face of informality, ‘can do’ and good humour - was a massive task.

Feedback has been excellent. A number of Leaders have commented that this was the most efficient- and friendly- APEC they have attended.

Our contingency planning coped with such things as rain on the Leaders Retreat, a Special Foreign Ministers meeting on Timor, even a delegation changing hotels!

Preliminary assessments suggest costs will be within budget, in which case we will have run APEC for around one third of the cost of previous years.

I want to thank Aucklanders in particular for their patience and support throughout APEC.

You put on a brilliant show and our guests loved the city, the region, the shops and the restaurants.

We simply could not have done the job without your support.

Overall, it was a terrific team effort by New Zealanders and we can all share in the success of the last fortnight.

State Visits

APEC was a big event, but on top of that we accepted the formidable challenge of running three simultaneous State visits immediately afterward.

Any one such visit would have been a big job. But to do three required every ounce of the teamwork for which New Zealanders are so rightly renowned.

I am pleased to report we achieved our objectives.

President Kim of Korea is one of the world’s remarkable leaders.

He is a lifelong champion of democracy and reform whose visit marked an opportunity to breathe new breadth and depth into our relations with Korea.

President Kim and I signed a joint Statement on a new partnership between New Zealand and Korea for the 21st Century.

This Statement is a road map for accelerating the links between us. It contains specific initiatives to deepen our relationship including:

 Agreement to hold aviation talks to increase the number of seats available for tourists, and a framework for moving to open skies in the future. Currently Korean tourists spend about $80 million a year excluding airfares. More seats means more tourisits.

 Agreement to exchange science missions.

 new Korean Studies scholarships, from New Zealand’s Asia 2000 Foundation

 Deepening the legal and judicial links between us through a Mutual Assistance Treaty and agreement to negotiate an extradition treaty.

 Establishing a framework for Parliamentary exchanges.

 Korean agreement to expedite our access to the Korean market for peaches and nectarines. At present we sell no peaches or nectarines because of access problems.

 And a study by research institutes on further ways to deepen bilateral economic and trade linkages

Korea is already our fifth largest trade partner. As Korea’s economy recovers our new Partnership Framework will be a catalyst to ensure rapid direct benefits for New Zealand’s economy.

President Jiang’s visit marked the first ever visit to New Zealand by a President of China.

In traditional export areas such as wool, the visit provided an important platform to pursue market access issues.

China’s decision to cease non-sustainable logging is a case in point where New Zealand is well placed to increase forestry links.

New Zealand’s commercial relationship with China has real momentum behind it and is entering a more intense chapter. We have recently opened the NZ market to full fee paying students from China which has seen numbers jump in one year from around 200 to 2000.

And China has recently approved New Zealand as a tourist destination – the first country (alongside Australia) outside Asia to be so designated. This, along with a more liberal aviation arrangement, also just agreed, promises to significantly intensify people-to-people links.

The continued growth of China’s economy, and its commitment to market reforms, mean our two economies, as well as peoples, are on track to become deeply intertwined in the years ahead.

In that process we will need to manage our differences as well as forging new partnerships.

The friendship and frankness built up between us over 25 years of diplomatic relations provides a good basis for doing so.

President Clinton – what can I say? It was a terrifically important visit for New Zealand – the first by a US President in 33 years – and one made all the more successful and memorable by his enjoyment of it. He is a star performer and won the hearts of New Zealanders through his warmth and informality.

Those golfing shots out of Millbrook, and the President’s comments about New Zealand, were arguably the biggest shot in the arm our tourism industry could have hoped for at this time. The TV exposure alone given New Zealand would have cost $US 250 million to buy.

Over the five days he spent here, we succeeded in securing his personal commitment to making progress on free trade areas. And at his personal instigation, we can report some movement in consolidating defence links. These were significant steps forward in a relationship that is already excellent.

And Mr Clinton ate every bit of fine lamb we put in front of him!

But more important still – this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to grab the attention of the world's most powerful nation. To have the President of the United States set aside for one moment the myriad of issues that daily confront him and for him to live alongside us, to reflect on this country, on how things look from down here, how we see things, and how close our two countries are – that was the real success of his state visit.

If I may borrow the President’s words, New Zealand was, last week, indeed an 'enchanted place' where anything could happen and almost did!

In the space of a week we pushed forward the APEC goals of growth and prosperity for the hundreds of millions of people of the APEC region- and we did so with distinction.

In that same week, taking advantage of the region’s leadership in New Zealand, we played a key role in lifting and shifting international responses to the tragedy in East Timor.

It is two weeks ago today that Foreign Ministers representing some of the world's key economies, and including the United Kingdom, whose Foreign Secretary came specially, met in Auckland to consider their response to East Timor.

That meeting had a huge impact on events. By Sunday morning I had been advised that the United Nations would be invited to assist. A unanimous resolution from the Security Council followed. Today New Zealand troops, along with many others from a coalition of the willing are either in East Timor, or Darwin, or have indicated their willingness to assist.

New Zealanders can be assured that as a result of activity in the last two weeks, New Zealand made a positive difference for the people of East Timor.

Now, our task as an economy is to capitalise on the momentum, profile and opportunities given to us by APEC.

We have set out the Auckland Challenge for APEC.

Now, our goal must be to pick up that baton, and ensure that New Zealanders achieve the prosperity that is ours for the taking.

© Scoop Media

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