Minister for Trade and Export Growth heads to Paraguay then Chile for CPTPP signing

Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker will travel to Asunción, Paraguay before joining other trade ministers in Chile for the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“The CPTPP will help the Government’s efforts to create jobs and deliver a better standard of living for New Zealanders,” says Mr Parker.

The 11-nation deal will create new opportunities for international trade, including preferential access for the first time to Japan – the third biggest economy in the World – as well as to Canada, Mexico and Peru.

“CPTPP has increased in importance because of growing threats to the effective operation of the World Trade Organisation,” Mr Parker says.

Mr Parker will also sign a number of side letters with CPTPP partner countries to accompany the CPTPP.

His travel to Paraguay marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with New Zealand.

“New Zealand and Paraguay share common interests across a range of areas, including agriculture and issues facing our indigenous peoples. There is significant scope to share information and deepen our collaboration,” says Mr Parker.

While in Paraguay he will also advance New Zealand’s interests in strengthening trade with Latin America. Paraguay is the current President of the Mercosur trading group made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

“I look forward to registering New Zealand’s interest in beginning exploratory discussions with Mercosur,” says Mr Parker.

“These discussions would allow us to identify whether there is mutual interest and benefit in negotiating a comprehensive, high quality free trade agreement.”

Mr Parker leaves on 6 March and returns on 10 March.