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Trade Network Happy With APEC Trade Progress

MEDIA RELEASE

23 OCTOBER 2001

Trade Network Happy With APEC Progress On WTO And US Trade Agreement

The New Zealand Trade Liberalisation Network congratulated Prime Minister Helen Clark and other APEC Leaders for their strong call to launch a new round of trade negotiations in the WTO.

Chairman Brian Lynch said that New Zealand exporters could feel satisfied with the results of the Shanghai APEC meeting.

“APEC Leaders have given an unequivocal signal that the new WTO round should be launched as soon as possible. This is good news for New Zealand exporters who need greater market access and stronger trade rules to expand and secure their international business.

Mr Lynch said that APEC had in the past shown itself capable of bringing strong influence to bear on progress in the WTO. “This is particularly important at this critical juncture. Now that Mike Moore has confirmed the WTO meeting is going ahead, it’s important that the momentum now building in Geneva not be lost”.

The Trade Liberalisation Network was briefed last week by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on progress in negotiating the draft declaration for the WTO Ministerial.

Mr Lynch also welcomed reports of the Prime Minister’s positive meetings with President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell and US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue, at which the prospect of a New Zealand/United States free trade deal were discussed. “A trade agreement with the world’s largest market, providing liberalised access over time for all sectors including agriculture, can only be positive for the New Zealand economy”.

“APEC continues to show its value to New Zealand business as a forum for high level dialogue, trade liberalisation and facilitation, economic co-operation and human capacity building, concluded Mr Lynch.

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