• John Luxton
Commerce and Industry

Hon John Luxton, Minister of Commerce and the Minister responsible for New Zealand's competition policy, is to meet with the Chair of the Korean Fair Trade Commission, Jeon Yun-Churl, and four other Korean officials tomorrow morning.

The Korean government delegation has initiated the visit to New Zealand to gain an understanding of our achievements in reforming the New Zealand economy to make it more open and internationally competitive and our competition law.

"The reform of the New Zealand economy has caught the attention of many overseas countries and New Zealand has been described as a "remote but brilliant star" in a one Competitiveness Report issued by the International Institute for Management Development based in Switzerland.

"It is important that excessive monopoly profits are not made at the expense of the consumer. And it is important to encourage competition to ensure choice for the consumer and to encourage innovation. As a trading nation we need to work hard at being competitive internationally if we are to increase our standards of living. As the Minister responsible for competition in New Zealand, I am pleased with the progress we have made, although we still have some work to do in this area.

"Governments everywhere are now reassessing the scope and quality of their intervention in the economy. This focus has been heightened by the advent of global businesses. These businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about barriers which may exist within domestic economies.

"Korea, like many countries, is now focussing on regulatory reform. The Korean delegation has an interest in the reform efforts of other countries, and in particular, New Zealand, which it holds in high regard. The delegation will also seek to gain an understanding of the role and objectives of our competition law and the place it had in the reform process.

"The visit is an excellent opportunity to strengthen and consolidate the economic ties between our two countries and I am looking forward to meeting Jeon Yun-Churl and his team," Mr Luxton concluded.

The Korean delegation is to visit the Minister at 9am, and then Ministry of Commerce officials and members of the Commerce Commission.