Monday, 20 January 2020 12:52

UK-NZ free trade and agriculture on agenda

Written by  Staff Reporters
Minister for trade and export growth, David Parker. Minister for trade and export growth, David Parker.

Agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom are on the agenda for trade minister David Parker on his visit to Europe this week.

Parker will also be discussing World Trade Organisation reform.

He leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim to advance New Zealand’s bilateral and multilateral trade agenda.

On January 22 he will meet his British counterpart, UK Secretary for Trade Liz Truss in London.

“The UK is one of New Zealand’s closest friends and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this new chapter in our relationship at such an important point in the UK’s history,” says Parker.

“Our Government is pursuing an active trade agenda, and we are confident the UK is a partner with whom we can negotiate an ambitious agreement at an early stage following the UK’s exit from the EU.”

From 22-24 January, Parker will represent the Government at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

The WEF is an opportunity for business, political and civil society leaders to meet and discuss some of the world’s most pressing economic challenges. Parker will participate as a panellist on Trade, Environment and Global Value chains.

On the margins of the WEF he will hold bilateral meetings with trade counterparts, attend a Swiss-hosted WTO mini-ministerial, a “Cairns Group” meeting of nations advocating for greater agricultural trade liberalisation, and a Canada-hosted “Ottawa Group” session on WTO reform.

“These engagements are critical as WTO members prepare for the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan in June.

“We need to promote New Zealand’s position on fisheries and fossil fuel subsidies, the appellate body impasse, agriculture and efforts to promote a more inclusive and sustainable trade agenda,” says Parker.

“With the effectiveness of the WTO under threat, we must ensure the multilateral trading system is revitalised and can continue to effectively underpin global growth, helping to create jobs and alleviate poverty.”

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