Japan Forum points to increasing inter-dependence

by | Sep 27, 2013 | Media Releases

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The fourth Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum held in Tokyo on 26 September closed with a new sense of optimism for the future of the relationship between the two countries.

“Japan and New Zealand have the opportunity through expanding political links and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to revitalise the relationship and move from co-operation to enhanced inter-dependence,” said New Zealand Forum co-Chair Sir Maarten Wevers.

Sir Maarten said Forum participants had engaged in a substantive and frank discussion.

“The 70 business leaders present engaged deeply and in a notably positive manner, about the opportunities arising from economic reform in Japan and the outlook for TPP.”

The Forum looked forward to increased co-operation in food and agriculture. Sir Graeme Harrison, Chairman of Anzco Foods, a major exporter to Japan, said this discussion was intensifying.

“Japan and New Zealand bring different strengths to the food partnership. New Zealand brings an outstanding resource base, a reputation for quality and sustainability and decades of product development in food industries,” said Sir Graeme.

“Japan brings a highly discerning consumer base, proven expertise in food technology, and strengths in marketing and distribution. We are confident we can find “win-win” solutions both in Japan and in third markets for the benefit of New Zealand and Japanese producers.”

Delegates to the Forum welcomed addresses at the event by Ministers in charge of TPP, Minister of State for Economic Revitalization, H E Akira Amari and Minister of Trade, Hon Tim Groser.

“Forum participants expressed support for a substantive and timely conclusion to TPP,” said Sir Maarten.

“Those present at the Forum saw the need for greater engagement on the part of business to explain the benefits of increased trade and investment. They encouraged Ministers to maintain their close dialogue and looked forward to TPP providing a basis for expanding the economic relationship between New Zealand and Japan.”

The Japan New Zealand Partnership is organized by the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) with the assistance of the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo and partners in Japan and New Zealand.  The Forum was established in 2008 and has been held on four occasions. Sponsors of this year’s Forum were Anzco Foods, Asia New Zealand Foundation, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Fonterra, Nissui, Sealord and TJK New Zealand Ltd.

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