Ministers to Open NZ-Turkey Trade Talks

  • Dr Lockwood Smith
International Trade

International Trade Minister Lockwood Smith and Turkey's Minister of State Cavit Kavak will open a new round of trade talks between the two countries in Wellington tomorrow.

Provisional figures show New Zealand exports to Turkey were worth more than $125 million in the year to June, making Turkey our 24th largest overseas market.

The lion's share of this trade, some $90 million worth, was made up of hides, skins and leathers, used in Turkey's garment manufacturing industry.

In the same period, imports from Turkey were worth almost $20 million.

"Tomorrow's talks will be aimed at developing this important two-way trade even further," Dr Smith said.

'There are exciting export opportunities in agro-industry, forestry and consultancy services, including in the postal sector." New Zealand will also raise the question of exports of breeding livestock to Turkey.

A Turkish ban on all livestock imports is in place because of fears of animal diseases coming in from Eastern Europe.

"New Zealand hopes to convince Turkey that our breeding animals are safe," Dr Smith said.

The two countries have recently concluded a veterinary agreement which could help give Turkey confidence in animals given a health clearance here, the minister said.

Meanwhile, Dr Smith and Mr Kavak will also attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Ataturk Memorial, which commemorates soldiers killed at Gallipoli.