Christmas Present For Blue Cod Industry

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Taiwan has given the New Zealand blue cod industry a Christmas present, agreeing to reduce tariffs from 50% to 25% from early 1999, Trade Minister Lockwood Smith announced today.

The decision brings the tariff back to its pre-1996 level.

"Prior to the 1996 change, Taiwan was our biggest market for blue cod worth around $1.2 million a year - around 80% of all our exported gilled and gutted blue cod," Dr Smith said. "But the increase in the tariff cut our exports by more than 50%. This Christmas present of bringing the tariff back to 25% in early 1999 should allow the industry to re-establish Taiwan as by far its major market."

Dr Smith said Taiwan was part of the APEC early liberalisation programme which includes the target of 2004 for zero tariffs on fish products.