Tackling non-tariff measures to help trade flows in agro-food in the ASEAN region is on the agenda for a forthcoming international trade meeting.
Trade Minister Tim Groser has announced that the fourth CER-ASEAN Integration Partnership Forum will take place in Auckland on 22 May 2014.
The annual Integration Partnership Forum aims to share lessons from the Closer Economic Relations Agreement (CER) between New Zealand and Australia with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“With ASEAN making good progress towards its goal of achieving an ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the Forum is an opportunity to share our experience of CER and its benefits with the ASEAN countries,” says Mr Groser.
“This year’s meeting will focus on the CER approach to tackling non-tariff measures to facilitate trade flows in agro-food.
“Agro-food is a significant sector for New Zealand and ASEAN, and one of the 12 priority sectors in the ASEAN Economic Community blueprint.
“As food-producing nations, New Zealand and Australia recognise the value in creating one joint food standard system to harmonise food standards between the two countries, reduce compliance costs for industry and help remove regulatory barriers to trade in food.
“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,” says Groser. “We hope that sharing our approach to this challenging issue will provide ASEAN members with some useful ideas.”
This will be the first forum to be held in New Zealand and will complement discussions taking place at the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) Joint Committee in Auckland from 19-23 May. The joint committee is responsible for the implementation of New Zealand’s free trade agreement with ASEAN.