‘Fine bal­ance’ on global econ­omy

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By STEVE ED­WARDS

Trade agree­ments be­tween na­tions need to be col­lec­tive, says Waikato MP Lindsay Tisch.

Mr Tisch pre­sented his ‘‘trade lib­er­al­i­sa­tion’’ views to the re­cent Asia Pa­cific Par­lia­men­tary Fo­rum (APPF) in Vladi­vos­tok, Rus­sia.

This was his ninth fo­rum and sev­enth lead­ing the New Zealand del­e­ga­tion. He has also served on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee for six years.

In his ad­dress, Mr Tisch said a pro­lif­er­a­tion of bi­lat­eral free trade agree­ments risks cre­at­ing a ‘‘noo­dle bowl’’ of sep­a­rate pro­vi­sions which could work against the spread of re­gional pro­duc­tion net­works.

Trade and in­vest­ments are pro­pel­ling high growth in the Asia Pa­cific re­gion, he said.

‘‘As bar­ri­ers to trade and in­vest­ment have fallen, firms have in­creas­ingly spread their ac­tiv­ity across bor­ders. Free move­ment of goods, ser­vices, in­vest­ment and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty are in­creas­ingly im­por­tant in the cre­ation of ‘value chains’ that are pow­er­ing the re­gional econ­omy.’’

To mit­i­gate this down­side, Mr Tisch said gov­ern­ments are pur­su­ing agree­ments with a wider range of mem­bers. This in­cludes the Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) ne­go­ti­a­tions, in­volv­ing 11 coun­tries, which he said is a ‘‘work in progress’’.

Es­tab­lished 21 years ago and staged an­nu­ally, the APPF sees MPs dis­cuss is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est.

Mr Tisch said New Zealand’s con­tri­bu­tion to the fo­rum, to be hosted by Mex­ico next year, is al­ways highly re­garded by those at­tend­ing.

This year’s event in­volved 354 peo­ple from 23 coun­tries.

Talk­ing to oth­ers out­side the for­mal ses­sions, Mr Tisch said feed­back he re­ceived showed the global eco­nomic down­turn re­mains a con­cern.

‘‘Things are still balanced.’’

His trip in­cluded a four- day stop in South Korea in pur­suit of a free trade agree­ment for agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from New Zealand.

Mr Tisch said he spoke to ‘‘key government peo­ple’’ in Seoul and is con­fi­dent a sat­is­fac­tory out­come will be reached.

He will report back to our trade and fi­nance min­is­ters.



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