• Lockwood Smith

Trade Minister Lockwood Smith says that the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement which will be signed tomorrow with Argentina's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Di Tella, is an important step in encouraging greater flows of investment between New Zealand and Argentina.

"One of the biggest obstacles to attracting inward investment is uncertainty regarding treatment of investments," Dr Smith said.

"Argentina is a growing destination for outward investment from New Zealand, particularly in forestry, construction, shopping centres and entertainment facilities.

"The Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement will protect the interests of existing investors from either country by providing greater transparency in investment regimes.

"The Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement will also promote further investment between our two countries. By providing guidelines for the fair treatment of investments, clear rules regarding repatriation of profits and procedures for settlement of disputes, the Agreement sends a clear signal to potential investors in Argentina that their investment in New Zealand will be welcomed, and vice-versa.

"New Zealand has a warm relationship with Argentina, and concluding the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement will contribute toward further development of our economic links," Dr Smith concluded.

Dr Smith departs New Zealand for Argentina today for a meeting of the Cairns Group, and arrives back in New Zealand on Tuesday, 31 August 1999.