Asia-Pacific free trade area on New Zealand’s APEC agenda

Wellington – New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser will be pushing for progress on an Asia-Pacific free trade area when he attends the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade in Qingdao, China, this week.

APEC Trade Ministers meeting on May 17 and 18 would be focusing on priority areas including regional economic integration, promoting innovative development, economic reform and growth, and strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development, Groser said in a statement Wednesday.

The meeting would provide the opportunity to promote New Zealand’s interests on the important issue of advancing regional economic integration, more specifically on work towards the “free trade area of the Asia-Pacific,” he said.

“The free trade area of the Asia-Pacific has been APEC’s underlying vision for some time. It is important that we strive to make real and tangible progress towards realizing this vision,” Groser said.

From China, Groser would travel to Singapore for the latest Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministers Meeting scheduled on May 19 and 20.

“The meeting will be an opportunity to build on progress made by TPP ministers in February consistent with the objectives agreed by leaders in Honolulu,” said Groser. Source: Xinhua