Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor will travel to Thailand this week to take part in the the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok.
“I’m very much looking forward to meeting my trade counterparts at APEC 2022 and building on the achievements we made under New Zealand’s chairing of APEC last year,” Mr O’Connor said.
“During our hosting of APEC 2021, we got agreement to remove tariffs on COVID-19 vaccines and pandemic related medical supplies, along with commitments to addressing damaging fossil fuel and fisheries subsidies.
“This is the most important annual trade meeting for the region.”
Front of mind for APEC economies this year will be economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era, navigating the economic fallout of Russia’s war on Ukraine and other key trade issues for the Indo-Pacific region, such as demonstrating support for World Trade Organization ahead of its Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June, the Minister said.
“More than ever the world needs strong multilateral rules-based systems for trade, because it benefits all countries, especially as we all recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Mr O’Connor will also hold bilateral meetings with key ministerial counterparts and meet with New Zealand companies active in Thailand – one of New Zealand’s top 10 trading partners.
“Being in Bangkok gives the opportunity to confirm New Zealand’s commitment to free trade and growing our exports in our home region, and I am looking forward to meeting many counterparts in person who I met virtually during New Zealand’s hosting of APEC last year.”
“Thailand and New Zealand share a friendly relationship and we have strong trade and economic links, which we greatly value as we continue our trade-led economic recovery from COVID-19,” Minister O’Connor said.
The meeting will be held on 21-22 May.