Trade Minister In Thailand

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Trade Minister Lockwood Smith will spend today and tomorrow in Thailand promoting New Zealand exports and discussing APEC and WTO issues with the Thai Government.

Meetings are scheduled with Finance Minister Dr Tarrin Nimmanhaeminda and Deputy Commerce Minister Dr Pravich Rattanapian to discuss the economic situation in Thailand and the region, and trade liberalisation questions, including issues arising from the APEC Leaders meeting.

Trade and investment promotions include an address to the Thai/NZ Chamber of Commerce, the launch of a New Zealand food and wine promotion at a major hotel, and meetings with representatives of the Thai finance sector and New Zealand businesses operating in Thailand.

Thailand is one of the major economies in Southeast Asia and a key member economy of APEC. Dr Smith will use the visit to assess how the economic crisis has affected the Thai economy, the prospects for recovery, and areas where New Zealand might be able to assist further in that recovery process.

The trend in the value of New Zealand exports to Asia is now showing growth despite the regional economic crisis. While New Zealand exports to Thailand have been cut back by the recession, the overall value of two way trade increased slightly to reach $479 million in the year to June 1998.