Free trade pacts on New Zealand Trade Minister’s Asia agenda

Wellington – New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser is seeking to advance his government’s free trade agenda at a series of key Asia-Pacific regional meetings this week.

Groser said Monday that he will be traveling to Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers Meeting to attend the second Ministerial Meeting for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement negotiations.

“RCEP has the potential to be a game changer for regional trade. It is important that all 16 countries continue to work together to realise the vision of a modern, comprehensive and high-quality agreement,” Groser said in a statement.

“The EAS is the only leaders-led regional process that includes all of the region’s major players. Through these meetings, New Zealand is able to engage with our key partners in the Asia- Pacific with a view towards strengthening trade and economic ties and deepening regional economic integration,” Groser said in a statement.

In Myanmar, Groser would also attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Australia-New Zealand Economic Ministers consultation, which would focus on the implementation of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

Ministers would sign the First Protocol to Amend AANZFTA, which would make AANZFTA more transparent and friendly for business, he said.

“New Zealand is committed to working with Australia and ASEAN in fully implementing our AANZFTA commitments and to maximize business up-take of the real opportunities that agreement offers, ” said Groser.

Groser would also attend the Sixth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Bali, Indonesia.

“The Alliance of Civilizations is a leading global initiative for intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation. New Zealand values this forum as it supports New Zealand’s comprehensive, multifaceted and long-term approach to countering extremism and combating terrorism,” he said. Source: Xinhua