Submissions on proposed Thai CEP called for
Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton today released an information paper on the proposed Closer Economic Partnership
between New Zealand and Thailand and invited business people and other interested parties to comment on the proposed
Prime Minister Helen Clark and Thai counterpart Thaksin Shinawatra agreed at the APEC Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok in
October that the two countries should conduct a joint CEP study and then enter into negotiations. The aim is to conclude
negotiation of an agreement by November 2004 when APEC leaders meet again.
Mr Sutton said Thailand was a dynamic economy, the fastest growing in South East Asia, and an increasingly important
"It also maintains high levels of protection on many products of interest to New Zealand exporters. Building closer
economic linkages and liberalising trade with Thailand will open up valuable opportunities for New Zealand business and
promote mutually beneficial relationships with Thai counterparts."
Submissions, comments and information on issues that exporters face in the Thai market will feed into the study process
and assist with development of negotiating positions.
He encouraged New Zealanders with a stake in the economic relationship between New Zealand and Thailand to contribute
their ideas and knowledge.
"The deadline for formal submissions is 12 March 2004. But of course this is only part of the ongoing engagement with
stakeholders envisaged throughout the period of the joint study and the negotiations."
The discussion document is available on the MFAT website: www.mfat.govt.nz.