• John Luxton

Commerce Minister, Hon John Luxton, leaves for Fiji today to address the annual Fiji/New Zealand Joint Business Council's Conference. The meeting is to be held on 10-11 July.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the joint Business Council's Conference. Annual joint conferences were established in 1988 to provide an opportunity for business interests from Fiji and New Zealand to discuss trade, investment and economic opportunities.

"The Business Council meeting is a valuable forum for strengthening the good business relations that already exist between Fiji and New Zealand" said Mr Luxton, who attended the joint Business Council Conference in Fiji in 1996. "It is also an effective body for close dialogue between business and governments."

"Fiji is an important market for New Zealand, taking $185 million of our goods and services in 1996. That makes it easily the largest export market for New Zealand in the South Pacific", said Mr Luxton.

"I will be addressing the Conference on possibilities for expanding trade links between New Zealand and the region, including Fiji ", said Mr Luxton.

The theme of this year's Conference if "Towards Free Trade in the South Pacific"

"This is particularly approiate as we move towards the APEC meetings in Auckland next year," Mr Luxton concluded.