‘Fine balance’ on global economy
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.