19 Nov 2013

Room for NZ exports to Thailand to grow

8:35 pm on 19 November 2013

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says rising incomes in Thailand are increasing opportunities for New Zealand to sell more higher value commodities and food and beverage products there.

Nathan Guy.

Nathan Guy. Photo: RNZ

Thailand is New Zealand's 10th largest trading partner after the two nations signed a free trade deal in 2010.

Mr Guy is in Thailand with Prime Minister John Key and a delegation of of New Zealand business representatives from the food, agriculture, IT and education sectors.

He says the demand for New Zealand food products is strong in Thailand. Dairy products, worth close to $300 million, account for almost half of the exports there and Thailand is now the third largest market for New Zealand mussel exports.

Greenlea Premier Meats is one of the New Zealand companies doing more business in Thailand.

Managing director Tony Egan is with the trade delegation and says he has not had any negative feedback about New Zealand's reputation as a food producer as a result of the Fonterra botulism controversy earlier this year.

The scare in August this year over a bug in dairy products, which ultimately proved not to be botulism, sparked three big investigations and a major Government overhaul.