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TPP Update Monday 6 December 2pm

TPP Update Monday 6 December 2pm

This is the 4th round of TPP negotiations. It follows rounds in Melbourne, San Francisco and Brunei. Good progress has been made in those earlier rounds. Five further rounds are scheduled for 2011.

The goal for the Auckland round is to make maximum progress on substance. In most areas negotiators are now working on text. The aim is to finish the week with well developed text in most areas and to start removing brackets wherever possible.

Delegations began arriving over the weekend. Some had bilateral contacts yesterday.

There was a preliminary meeting of chief negotiators late Sunday mainly to focus on process for the week. They talked about programme and arrangements.

Hon Murray McCully, who is Acting Minister of Trade this week, dropped in to meet the group and say a few words on Sunday afternoon. He noted the current level of interest in TPP and emphasised New Zealand’s determination, as host, to achieve maximum progress from the Auckland round. He also highlighted the importance of quality and ambition. Chief negotiators noted the call from TPP Leaders to conclude an ambitious agreement as soon as possible - one that addresses new and emerging trade issues and the 21st century challenges their businesses and workers face.

Today there was an opening plenary meeting. This was the first occasion to welcome Viet Nam since the announcement in Yokohama confirming Viet Nam’s full participation in the negotiation. This was also the first occasion for Malaysia, as the newest member, to be present for the negotiations from the beginning of the week.

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The substantive programme today opened with a session on the so-called ‘horizontal issues’ in which there were presentations from three invited business representatives on the importance of the regulatory agenda. There will be follow-on sessions over the next few days looking at specific horizontal issues such as SMEs, supply chains and regulatory coherence.

This afternoon the main negotiating programme gets under way with working groups meeting on the following issues:

• Goods

• Intellectual property

• Financial services

• Customs

• Business mobility

• Labour

• Legal and institutional issues

One of the features of the TPP process has been the level of stakeholder engagement. We have over 100 stakeholders registered for Auckland. We have put a lot of effort into organising opportunities for engagement between stakeholders and negotiators. In Auckland there is a programme of stakeholder presentations to negotiators running each day. At 3pm today, stakeholders will also hold a media conference.


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