Joint Ministerial Statement on the Establishment of Philippines/New Zealand Economic And Trade Consultations

  • Dr Lockwood Smith
International Trade

The Philippines Secretary of Trade and Industry, Hon Cesar B Bautista, and the New Zealand Minister for International Trade Lockwood Smith, met today (23/10/97) in Manila to discuss ways in which to further promote trade and investment between the two countries.

The Ministers noted that a Trade Agreement between the Philippines and New Zealand, signed in 1976, provided the broad framework for trade relations.

The two countries share regional interests and links through APEC and AFTA/CER. In the past few years, the two countries experienced positive and encouraging developments in their economies. Their bilateral trade relations had grown markedly, stimulated by strong economic growth and by trade and investment liberalisation in both economies. The visit of HE President Fidel V Ramos to New Zealand in August 1995 had inspired a new level of interest in business opportunities between the two countries. The Ministers were pleased to note the visits of several business missions in both directions.

The Ministers agreed that, given the strengths and complementarities of the two economies, there was considerable potential for further growth of trade and investments. To this end, they agreed on the establishment of bilateral economic and trade consultations which would provide an appropriate framework to:

  • review progress in bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation
  • facilitate the resolution of policy/access issues inhibiting further trade and investment growth between the two countries
  • identify and recommend, to relevant Philippines and New Zealand organisations, opportunities for facilitating and expanding trade and investment relations between the two countries and between the Philippines and New Zealand businesses in third countries
  • encourage private sector participation in new trade and investment opportunities
  • exchange views on relevant regional and multilateral economic and trade issues

The Ministers agreed that the consultations should take place approximately every two years or more frequently when necessary by mutual consent, alternately in the Philippines and New Zealand, after an inaugural meeting in 1998. Delegations would comprise senior economic officials and could, from time to time, when deemed necessary, be headed by their respective Ministers.

Private sector representatives would be invited to attend as and when appropriate.