To go or woe with the WTO?


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Closing remarks by the co-chair to the 2nd Korea-NZ Business Roundtable, Seoul, 6 July 2010 Graeme Harrison, Chairman, NZ International Business Forum

by | Jul 6, 2010 | Speeches


Our host Trade Commissioner Graeme Solloway, our guest speaker Mr Lee, my fellow Co Chair Dr Kyung Tae Lee. distinguished delegates,

I would like to thank NZ Trade and Enterprise for hosting this lunch and our Korean friends for joining us.

I thank Dr Ju-Ik Lee for his inspiring address and wish him every success with his future films.

I trust you enjoyed the Ocean Beef from New Zealand which I am proud to say was supplied by my own company.

We have just concluded a most successful 2 nd Roundtable meeting which in my view has helped us take forward dialogue we started in June last year.

Prime Minister Key and Dr SaKong set the scene for a stimulating morning.

A number of key themes emerged in the course of our discussions.

The first is that Korean and New Zealand business is facing similar challenges.

We are in a period of new economic recovery and we trust that Korea’s role as G20 Chair will help sustain the momentum of that recovery.

Increasing economic growth in the region is giving rise to changes in the way we do business as supply chains become more integrated and we all seek to get closer to our customers.

The second theme is that the policy framework in which business is conducted needs to change to keep pace with the way business is being done.

That is why so many of us in business are so keen to see the remaining barriers to trade and investment progressively dismantled and a new region-wide economic space put in place.

That economic space would try to foster smoother market integration by addressing behind the border barriers, promoting regulatory co-operation, expanding investment and facilitating research and innovation.

The third theme is that there possibilities for economic and business co-operation between Korea and New Zealand that go beyond those we see today.

Of course Korea will continue to sell more cars and high tech consumer goods in New Zealand and we will continue to sell food and fibre products in Korea.

But there is more we can do to add value to our traditional business and to develop the new bridgeheads we have seen today in information technology, health services, green growth and clean technologies.

Above all our discussions showed that despite our differences in size and scale our two economies are complementary and there are several niche areas already showing potential for further development.

There is clearly value in continuing to deepen this dialogue – I propose therefore that a third Roundtable should be held at an appropriate time to be decided by KITA and NZIBF.This morning I reminded you that for sixty years or more New Zealanders and Koreans have been united in common endeavour.

It is exciting to think where the relationship might head in the next sixty years and I have no doubt that the FTA which we hope will be concluded shortly will be the beginning of new prosperity for us both.

I should like now to thank Dr Kyung Tae Lee and KITA for their hard work and co-operation in arranging this superb 2 ndRoundtable and to present this gift as a sign of our continuing friendship.

Gamsa habnida!


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