INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ/Thai TA sends liberalizing signal to the world!

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2004 09:50 AM
NZ/Thai trade agreement sends liberalizing signal to the world!
The NZ/Thai trade agreement sends a clear signal to the world that barriers to trade are being lowered, not raised, said the Trade Liberalisation Network in response to today's announcement.
The TLN congratulated the two Governments for their hard work and for concluding the wide ranging agreement in little over a year.
"While it's disappointing to see long lead times for beef and dairy products, meaningful commitments to lower tariffs on other agricultural products and the immediate elimination of many fruit and vegetable tariffs lends crucial weight to a growing global consensus that within the next two decades the barricades of protection preventing agricultural trade are to be dismantled.
"For the better part of half a century freeing up agricultural trade has barely been on the agenda. And in less than two years, time frames are being set. We should take heart from this," said TLN Executive Director, Suse Reynolds.
The TLN also applauded provisions in the agreement, such as allowing longer periods of stay, which make it easier for New Zealand business people to operate in Thailand.
"These sorts of practical initiatives are the key to encouraging trade between countries," said Reynolds.
Referring to the side arrangements on labour and environmental standards Reynolds said they were bound to attract criticism from some, but they reflected a realistic and genuine acknowledgment by both parties that these issues must be open for discussion.

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