Philippines Environment Minister Visits NZ

  • David Carter
Associate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

Associate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control, Hon David Carter, will meet with the Republic of Philippine's Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources, Hon Antonio Cerilles, today to discuss forestry issues.

Mr Cerilles, accompanied by Philippines Government officials and forestry sector representatives, flew into New Zealand yesterday for a six-day tour of New Zealand's forestry sector.

David Carter said the visit was an ideal opportunity to discuss trade liberalisation in forestry products with a key Minister from the Asian region.

"We need all the support we can get to promote the liberalisation of trade in forestry products at APEC."

"Like many other Asian countries, the Philippines is looking at the long term sustainability of their forests. It's in both our interests that we work towards free trade in forestry products around the Pacific rim to ensure steady supply of timber across the region."

Mr Cerilles has travelled to New Zealand with members of the Philippine's Wood Producers Association, the Phillipines Forest Management Bureau and the Phillipines National Resources Development Corporation.

While in New Zealand, the Philippine's delegation will meet with members of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and the New Zealand Forest Industries Council in Wellington, before touring plantations and milling operations in Taupo and Rotorua later this week. The Forest Research Institute also plans to meet with the delegation.

Mr Carter said the visit was significant in that the Philippine's Minister had identified New Zealand as a country from which to learn about forestry management.

"This is good news for those working in our forest industry. International recognition should spin-off into demand for our timber products, and that means jobs and growth for forestry companies in New Zealand."