Minister visits Viet Nam and Singapore

Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor is travelling to Viet Nam and Singapore next week to discuss agricultural and trade matters. 

In Ho Chi Minh City Mr O’Connor will further political links with Vietnamese representatives then travel to Ha Noi to meet with counterpart ministers. 

“These meetings will help smooth the access of New Zealand products to the Viet Nam market, which is a fast growing economy in the Asia-Pacific with a demand for high quality products. 

“New Zealand and Viet Nam are mutually committed to reducing barriers to bilateral trade, particularly for our agricultural products.” 

New Zealand’s primary sector exports to Viet Nam fetched around $669 million in the past year, mainly for milk powder, timber tallow and butter.

 Mr O’Connor will then travel to Singapore to attend trade meetings, including a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministers Meeting, the ASEAN-Ministerial Consultations with ASEAN, New Zealand and Australian Ministers, and the East Asia Summit Economic Ministers’ Meeting.  

“This is an important opportunity for New Zealand to highlight the value we place on our trade and economic relationship with the Asia-Pacific region. 

“Given the challenges to the global trading system and the WTO, regional deals like RCEP and AANZFTA are increasingly important for New Zealand.

 “The RCEP Ministerial Meeting comes at a critical point in the negotiations.

 “I will be looking to ensure that the agreement supports employment and opportunity throughout New Zealand society, while also safeguarding the things that New Zealanders hold dear.

 “RCEP is part of a trade negotiations agenda that is integral to the Government’s moves to modernise our economy and support businesses and exporters in the face of economic headwinds internationally,” Damien O’Connor said. 

RCEP covers 16 countries with a combined GDP of US$23 trillion (2015), almost half the world’s population and brings together countries that take more than half of New Zealand’s total exports.