Talk of APEC Breakthrough Premature

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Media reports of a breakthrough at the APEC senior officials meeting in Malaysia are premature, Trade Minister Lockwood Smith said today.

"New Zealand believes that the comprehensive liberalisation of trade in the nine sectors agreed to in Vancouver last year offers APEC a great opportunity to demonstrate its credibility and respond to the financial difficulties in the region," Dr Smith said.

"Our view is that we are not at that stage yet.

"Reports to the contrary are premature and overstate the degree of progress made at the senior officials meeting.

"The advice I have received from Malaysia today is that we still have a significant amount of work to do before trade ministers are in a position to finalise a credible package."