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Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Detroit tomorrow to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting from 24 – 29 May.
Whilst in Detroit, Damien O’Connor will also host a meeting of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Ministers and participate in an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Ministerial Meeting.
“The Chris Hipkins Government is continuing to build on our successful trade recovery strategy as we promote a rules-based trading system and keep on opening doors for our Kiwi exporters,” Damien O’Connor said.
“Trade is key to New Zealand’s economy. Since 2017, we’ve secured or upgraded seven Free Trade Agreements granting new and unprecedented market access for our exporters and boosting our economy. That includes the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement which enters into force next week and is expected to boost our GDP by up to $1 billion.”
“We know that employment grows up to 12% faster when business start exporting and as Trade Minister I will continue to advocate for New Zealand businesses abroad, as well as focussing on how we can get more Kiwi firms exporting internationally.
“APEC is a crucial part of the multilateral trade architecture in the Pacific region and I look forward to discussing with APEC Ministers how we can work together to use rules-based trade to confront the economic challenges ahead of us”, said Damien O’Connor.
“I will also be hosting a meeting of CPTPP Ministers as part of New Zealand’s year as Chair of the Commission. The CPTPP agreement has already saved Kiwi business $300 million in tariff reductions and other economies are keen to reap those benefits too – with Brunei ratifying its membership last week and substantial conclusion of negotiations on the United Kingdom’s accession being reached in March.”
Minister O’Connor will also participate in a meeting of IPEF Ministers, the first in-person meeting since negotiations launched.
“IPEF prioritises sustainability, inclusivity and resilience and closely aligns with the Government’s trade recovery strategy. Initiated by the United States, IPEF presents an opportunity to deepen our connection with the States – our third largest trading partner – and to improve the flow of goods and services between us,” Damien O’Connor said.
Minister O’Connor will also use his time in Detroit to meet with a number of Ministerial counterparts, including Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan, and the United States.