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Oxfam's Make Trade Fair debate

Oxfam's Make Trade Fair debate

Tuesday, October 14 at 5.30 - 6.30pm.

Moderator: Oxfam Executive Director Barry Coates

Confirmed speakers:

Minister Phil Goff (Labour),

Tim Groser (National),

Ken Graham (Greens),

Josie Pagani (Progressives)

Venue: Room GBLT2, Government Buildings, Pipitea Campus, 15 Lambton Quay, Victoria University, Wellington

Trade Minister Phil Goff, together with spokespeople from the major political parties, will tonight be draped in colourful pacific-style lei in Wellington at the start of Oxfam's political debate on trade issues.

Oxfam will handover hundreds of lei petitions signed by New Zealanders calling on the government to Make Trade Fair for people living in poverty, especially our Pacific neighbours. The campaign is part of a wide-reaching campaign signed by 20,000 New Zealanders and more than 20 million people world wide, calling on governments to Make Trade Fair.

Fair rules on international trade are vital for New Zealand's prosperity, but also for the lives of millions of people in the developing world. The next New Zealand government will be responsible for negotiating a number of trade agreements that are already underway. Negotiations in the World Trade Organisation for a 'development round' have stalled, as major powers such as the US and EU have refused to reform their agricultural policies, while demanding deep concessions from developing countries.

In the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia are pressing for a reciprocal agreement with small island nations that could increase New Zealand's exports, but could also create serious problems for vulnerable Pacific economies.

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Developing countries, including those in the Pacific, are watching the deepening global financial crisis with trepidation. The Pacific Islands' small and fragile economies are particularly prone to external shocks, and unlike their developed-country neighbours, Australia and New Zealand, their governments often lack the resources to intervene in order to maintain stability.

Party spokespeople will be invited to respond to questions put forward by members of the public.


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