Heads of various meat industry organisations have shown their public support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement negotiations underway in Auckland this week between eleven APEC economies.
They are amongst more than 50 business leaders from some of New Zealand’s largest and most successful companies and business organisations to have signed an open letter to Prime Minister John Key, underlining the importance of international trade and investment for New Zealand.
Among the signatories are Alliance chief executive Grant Cuff, ANZCO Foods’ managing director Mark Clarkson, Silver Fern Farms’ Keith Cooper, Greenlea Premier Meats’ Tony Egan and Sir James Wallace chairman of Wallace Corporation alongside Meat Industry Association chairman Bill Falconer and Beef + Lamb NZ Ltd’s chairman Mike Pedersen and chief executive Scott Champion.
“The signatories to the open letter represent a cross section across all major export sectors in New Zealand, including agriculture, forestry, fishing, horticulture, wine, manufacturing, technology and Maori business. Together they either directly employ, or their members employ, an enormous number of Kiwis,” says the chairman of the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF), Sir Graeme Harrison.
“These business leaders welcome the TPP round taking place in Auckland this week and commend negotiators from the TPP economies for their efforts to conclude a future agreement which should bring benefits for all member economies”.
“The group is aware the negotiation poses challenges for New Zealand policy settings in a number of areas and that the negotiation is complex. We have confidence that Trade Minister Tim Groser and his officials will seek solutions that meet New Zealand’s national interests.”
“We see great advantages for New Zealand arising from a future agreement that is high quality, comprehensive and ambitious, one that eliminates trade barriers, lowers the cost of doing business and makes improvements to the way regional supply chains can link producers and consumers in the region.”
The open letter coincides with the launch of a new business-led initiative, Trade Works, a website (www.tradeworks.org.nz) to help Kiwis better understand the benefits of trade and investment for New Zealand, and understand the potential benefits of TPP. Funding for the website has been provided by the NZ US Council and the website has been built with the support of thirteen business organisations representing the main export sectors.
“The Council and its partners see value from an effort to create a TPP which meets business and wider needs and reflects the way business is being done today and will be done in the future. This will assist economic growth and job creation in New Zealand. Our new website signals that we are also ready to participate with other members of civil society in a dialogue about how TPP can contribute to what it is best for New Zealand,” says the chairman of the NZ US Council, Rt Hon James Bolger.