Japan group good move in difficult times, says Business Forum

by | Apr 14, 2009 | Media Releases

The establishment of a joint officials’ group to look at advancing the relationship between New Zealand and Japan is a good move in difficult times, says the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF).

“Times are as tough as they have ever been, but New Zealand’s exports to Japan so far are holding up well” said NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.  Mr Jacobi is en route to Tokyo for meetings later this week.

“Even in the current difficult economic climate Japanese consumers want to buy what we have to sell and while Japanese exports across the board have fallen sharply New Zealanders will continue to want Japanese consumer goods.  New Zealand also benefits from significant and increasing Japanese investment”.

Mr Jacobi said NZIBF expected the joint officials’ group, announced on 9 April by Trade Minister Tim Groser, to build on progress made in the relationship over the last two years.

“Japan remains the world’s second largest economy and New Zealand’s third largest export market and fourth largest trading partner.  The first ever Japan NZ Partnership Forum held in Tokyo in May 2008 reaffirmed the critical importance of the relationship and resulted in agreement between then Prime Ministers Clark and Fukuda that further steps would be taken to consider the scope of a possible free trade agreement.  We are pleased the joint officials’ group will be examining the relationship from that perspective”.

Mr Jacobi said planning was underway for a second Japan NZ Partnership Forum to be held in Tokyo later this year.

“This second Forum will be an ideal opportunity to take stock of progress, support the officials in their work and ensure that this key relationship continues to deliver value for both partners”.

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