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Australia Ups The Ante On Japan


Media release – 16 December 2006

Australia Ups The Ante On Japan

New Zealand needs to devote even greater attention to the economic relationship with Japan, says the Trade Liberalisation Network (TLN).

TLN Chairman Stephen Jacobi was reacting to the announcement of free trade negotiations between Japan and Australia.

“The Australian and Japanese Governments deserve congratulations for agreeing to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement including in agriculture. But the negotiation has implications for New Zealand, particularly for our meat and dairy sectors. To ensure we are not disadvantaged in the Japanese market in the future, we need to prepare the ground for a similar agreement between New Zealand and Japan”.

Mr Jacobi said the New Zealand Government had already taken up this challenge in establishing last month a working group with Japan to review the bilateral relationship. The working group is scheduled to report before the end of 2007.

“The government effort needs greater support from business if it is to be successful. Japan is not only the world’s second largest economy; it is our third largest trading partner. We need to be paying the same attention to Japan as we do to our other major trading partners Australia and the United States”.


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