23 Mar 2005

New Zealand to open its market to more food exports from Samoa

3:21 pm on 23 March 2005

The New Zealand government says a lot of progress is being made in expanding opportunities for Samoa to export its food products to New Zealand.

Samoa has long had concerns about New Zealand's quarantine requirements but after ministerial talks in Apia at the weekend, the New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, says the market is about to develop substantially.

After an earlier agreement papaya and breadfruit now come into New Zealand in significant quantities, and Mr Goff says, once a new import health standard is in place, they should be joined later this year, by egg plant, and seven different types of citrus.

"think that Samoa accepts that we are acting in good faith. We have to maintain high standards to prevent the unintended importation of pests, but that we're not trying to block their produce. So by appointing someone specifically in agriculture and forestry, we've made more progress this year than in the ten years before that, which was very much appreciated."

New Zealand's foreign minister, Phil Goff.