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Groser: Submissions Called For On Possible FTA With Korea

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tim Groser
Tim Groser

23 January 2009 - The Government is inviting submissions on the potential for entering into a free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation with the Republic of Korea, Trade Minister Tim Groser said today.

The call for submissions follows an in-depth exploratory process that has taken place over the last two years.

"This is a further indication of the recent positive steps forward in what is already a strong and wide ranging relationship," said Mr Groser.

"Korea is New Zealand's sixth largest export market, with our total bilateral goods trade worth around NZ$2.5 billion a year. Korea is also an important source of international students and tourists. Entering into an FTA would see the platform laid to develop further this important relationship" he said.

The decision to work towards formal FTA negotiations with Korea builds on the results of the joint private study conducted in 2007 by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP). The report, which has recently been released, indicates that an FTA would offer net economic benefits to both countries.

"Given the current global economic climate, access for New Zealand businesses to a market as large and mature as Korea is important to economic growth and confidence," said Mr Groser.

"We are confident that this submission process, and Korea's own domestic consultations, will demonstrate favourable support for this process and that our two Governments can subsequently move to the formal announcement of negotiations."

Background information regarding this possible FTA negotiation and information on how to make a submission can be found at www.mfat.govt.nz. A copy of the joint study can also be found at this address.

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