Phil Twyford to visit Cambodia to boost trade links with South East Asia

Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Phil Twyford will travel to Cambodia this week to attend the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers’ consultations.

ASEAN is collectively New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, with exports in 2021 totalling $6.3 billion, or almost 9% of our total goods exports. The trip comes ahead of the end of year deadline for negotiations on upgrading the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).

“I look forward to meeting with counterparts across a range of  trade meetings, to  further strengthen New Zealand’s trade relationship with ASEAN partners and provide greater economic security for New Zealanders,” Phil Twyford said.

“We are committed to working with our ASEAN partners to further boost our already significant economic and trading ties, as both New Zealand and the region recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“Strong trade links are key in supporting our economic recovery and protecting New Zealanders from the sharp edges of a global economic downturn. Supporting our exporters and ensuring the benefits of trade deliver for all will be front of mind as I meet with my counterparts in Cambodia.

“The ASEAN Economic Ministers’ meeting is an opportunity to advance the region’s economic integration, for instance by upgrading AANZFTA to ensure the Agreement’s rules are modern and fit for purpose. We can take into account lessons learned from COVID-19 and ensure AANZFTA remains ASEAN’s highest quality free trade agreement.

“To deliver on New Zealand’s ambitions for trade, we are seeking the inclusion of chapters covering cooperation on trade and sustainable development, as well as on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the upgrade. If successful, the trade and sustainable development chapter will be an ASEAN first,” Phil Twyford said.

While in Cambodia Minister Twyford will also attend the East Asia Summit Economic Ministers Meeting, and the first Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting.

Minister Twyford departs for Cambodia on the 13th of September and will return on the 21st.