Support for trade rules and EU-NZ talks on agenda
Fortifying support for international trade rules and preparing the way for New Zealand’s free trade talks with the European Union are key aims for Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker during a visit to France and Germany next week.
David Parker leaves on Sunday to attend the OECD’s annual Ministerial Council meeting in Paris, which he will vice-chair.
He will also join an informal gathering of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministers to discuss ways to advance WTO talks and strengthen multilateralism.
“With protectionism on the rise and escalating fears of trade wars this is a top priority for New Zealand right now.
“The current tensions in global trade, and threats to the rules-based system, concern our Government deeply,” David Parker said.
“If there are gaps in the multilateral rules, the OECD can help us understand how collectively to address them.”
He said many of the challenges the Government is working to address – from multinational tax avoidance to climate change and inequality – are best tackled in cooperation with other countries.
”I commend France as Chair for focusing on this and I look forward to working closely with them and fellow vice-chair Latvia.”
At the meeting David Parker intends to share key elements of the Government’s economic and well-being strategy, including the recently-announced Trade for All agenda.
“I look forward to exchanging experiences on how we are tackling challenges we have in common, such as preparing our young people to thrive in a rapidly-changing global workforce.”
While in Europe David Parker will also hold bilateral talks in Paris and Berlin, where he will discuss the launch of negotiations on an EU-New Zealand free trade agreement, following the EU’s adoption of its negotiating mandate this week.
“New Zealand and the EU are close and natural partners on almost every global issue. I’m pleased we now have an opportunity to take our trade and economic cooperation to the same level,” he said.
“An EU-New Zealand FTA will bring real benefits to both sides. It could also provide a model for what can be achieved between two parties committed to progressive and inclusive trade policies that benefit all our people.”