Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links

The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.

Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement into force was a key focus for David Parker’s visit to Fiji on 13 February.

He also represented New Zealand at the meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers, who expressed support for a global rules-based trading system as important for small economies.

“These meetings provided an ideal opportunity for me to talk with Pacific colleagues about how trade and economic growth can support and enhance Pacific prosperity,” David Parker said.

PACER Plus has been signed by 11 Pacific countries and will come into force 60 days after eight countries have ratified it. So far four have ratified, including New Zealand.

The agreement’s benefits include lower trade barriers and greater certainty for New Zealand businesses, and more jobs and increased exports for Pacific Island countries, boosting living standards.

David Parker also discussed with Forum countries environmental issues including marine litter and climate change as well as ways to advance fossil fuel subsidy reform at the WTO, and how to support the WTO – a key pillar of the rules-based international system.

This week David Parker will lead New Zealand’s delegation at the seventh New Zealand UAE Joint Economic Commission.

“The talks provide an important opportunity to engage on economic and trade policy with the UAE, which is New Zealand’s tenth largest trading partner and a hub for air links and trade with Europe, the Middle East and North Africa,” David Parker said.

He will meet Minister of Economy, Sultan Al Mansouri, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi and visit New Zealand exporters participating at Gulfood 2020, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade exhibition.

The visits to Fiji and the UAE follow David Parker’s visit to Switzerland for the World Economic Forum and his talks with UK Secretary of State Liz Truss in London as New Zealand and the UK prepare for trade talks following Brexit.

“These visits mark a busy start to the year for our trade agenda and offer crucial opportunities to further the Government’s aims to broaden and diversify markets for New Zealand exporters and support the international rules based system.”

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