28 Aug 2009

New Zealand working to reduce trade imbalance with Pacific

1:57 pm on 28 August 2009

The Pacific Island Trade Commissioner in New Zealand is commending the increased efforts by the New Zealand government and the private sector to cut the huge trade imbalance with Pacific countries.

Currently Pacific countries have a 700 million US dollar trade deficit with New Zealand.

Chris Cocker says a recent agriculture trade mission to Tonga tried to address the issues stopping island countries from accessing the New Zealand market.

He says many small island states still need help to improve export standards to meet New Zealand's stringent quarantine requirements and to provide quality on demand.

"The New Zealand government is addressing that. John Key has been very active in that case, and I mean they've been to the Pacific, Murray McCully has just visited, and then we had the Manukau Trade Mission and then we sent also our agriculture trade mission that just went in so in the first two quarters of this year there's been a very active interest from the New Zealand market in trying to strengthen and address that huge trade deficit that happens between New Zealand and the Pacific."

Chris Cocker, Pacific Island Trade Commissioner in New Zealand.