Tackling trade barriers to help deliver Asia-Pacific prosperity

Issued by the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF).

 26 November 2018 – The NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) congratulates the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) for its advocacy which has led to the adoption of a set of principles on non-tariff measures (NTMs) by APEC.

“Red tape, unscientific requirements, arbitrary technical regulations and other so-called ‘non-tariff barriers’, or NTBs, add costs and make trade more difficult,” said NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

“APEC Ministers, including our own Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, have endorsed a bold set of principles aimed at ensuring that these measures do not erode the benefits of trade for business and consumers in the region. This is a signal achievement,” commented Mr Jacobi.

Mr Jacobi noted that ABAC New Zealand member Katherine Rich and NZIBF’s Associate Director Stephanie Honey had led the development in ABAC of an ambitious set of WTO-consistent cross-cutting principles on NTMs and NTBs. Those principles had inspired New Zealand officials to push for the APEC approach.

“The NZ ABAC team has worked tirelessly over several years to develop the ABAC Principles,” said Mr Jacobi. “As part of that process we looked at how damaging NTBs are for agriculture and food exports, manufacturing, services and even digital trade,” he added.

“We are delighted to see those ideas now embraced by APEC Ministers,” said Katherine Rich, CEO of the NZ Food and Grocery Council. “At a time when global trade is facing significant headwinds, it has never been more important to affirm our commitment to open markets and to freeing up trade and investment. NTBs are part of that effort,” she added.

Mrs Rich warned that unless APEC continued to press ahead with deepening regional economic integration, economies would struggle to achieve their long-held vision of sustainable and inclusive growth and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific.

The New Zealand ABAC members are Katherine Rich, Phil O’Reilly of Iron Duke Partners and Tenby Powell of Hunter Powell Investments. Stephen Jacobi serves as Alternate Member and Stephanie Honey is the ABAC NZ policy advisor.

Note: The APEC Cross Cutting Principles on Non-Tariff Measures can be found here.

For further information.

Stephen Jacobi cell 0294 725 502. stephen@nzibf.co.nz

Katherine Rich cell 021 341 918. Katherine.rich@fgc.org.nz

www.tradeworks.org.nz   www.abaconline.org

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