Aussie/NZ-ASEAN forum to focus on agro-food trade

2014-05-21 12:00:00

The annual trade integration forum of Australia, New Zealand and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in New Zealand this week will focus on non-tariff measure to ease trade in "agro-food," New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said Wednesday.

The fourth CER-ASEAN Integration Partnership Forum in Auckland on May 22 aimed to share lessons from the Closer Economic Relations Agreement (CER) trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia with the ASEAN group of countries, Groser said in a statement.

With ASEAN making good progress towards its goal of achieving an ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the forum was an opportunity to our experience of CER and its benefits with the ASEAN countries.

"Agro-food is a significant sector for New Zealand and ASEAN, and one of the 12 priority sectors in the ASEAN Economic Community blueprint," said Groser.

"As food-producing nations, New Zealand and Australia recognize the value in creating one joint food standard system to harmonize food standards between the two countries, reduce compliance costs for industry and help remove regulatory barriers to trade in food, " he said.

"New Zealand and Australia have two of the most integrated economies in the world and for over three decades CER has been a key driver of growth and trade on both sides of the Tasman."

It would be the first forum to be held in New Zealand and would complement discussions at the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Joint Committee in Auckland from May 19 to 23 May.