Step forward with ASEAN welcomed by Business Forum

by | Aug 29, 2008 | Media Releases

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News from Singapore of the successful conclusion of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the CER partners New Zealand and Australia was warmly welcomed by the NZ International Business Forum today.

“Trade Minister Phil Goff and his officials have done superb job to conclude a particularly complex negotiation.  We understand that tariff elimination for all items of key trade interest including dairy products, meat and kiwifruit has been secured along with significant outcomes on services and investment.  That bodes well not only for the agreement with ASEAN but for other agreements that New Zealand might look to negotiate in the future” said International Business Forum Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

Mr Jacobi said the Forum had earlier been concerned that the outcome of the negotiation might have been less than comprehensive with regard to meat and dairy products but these problems appear to have been overcome.

“This new agreement has a lot of potential.  Not only is there scope to grow the current level of trade with the ASEAN countries but the agreement serves as another building block towards trade liberalization in the Asia Pacific region”.

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