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FTA with India must incorporate Services Sector

Media Release
23 February 2009

FTA with India must incorporate Services Sector

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce today welcomed the news that New Zealand and India are to commence negotiations for a bilateral FTA and emphasised the importance including services in the negotiation.

“An FTA with India would be hugely beneficial to New Zealand and has been a very high priority for us for many years,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.

“New Zealand and India have had a longstanding relationship but trade between the two countries has been relatively meagre.

“India is a fast growing economy of more than 1.1 billion people and it has taken steps in recent years to open up and become more outward looking. New Zealand exports to India are small but growing and so a FTA would be a valuable platform to build that trade.

“Indian agriculture is highly protected and improved access for our agricultural produce is very important. It is also essential that negotiations cover services and investment. Aiming for a good deal in services will be necessary if we are to achieve a breakthrough in agriculture. It would also benefit New Zealand’s services sector which makes up around two thirds of the economy.

“With its service sector orientation, the Wellington economy in particular has a lot to gain from closer economic relations with India - particularly in the IT, film and education sectors. These are areas which both India and Wellington excel in.

“We strongly support the strengthening trade relationship with India and we congratulate Tim Groser and his officials for reaching this milestone”, Mr. Finny concluded.

ENDS

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