Trade makes new friends of old enemies

15/11/2010

We were the first country in the world to get a free trade agreement with China and are now the first to begin free trade talks with Russia Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Negotiations on a free trade agreement between New Zealand and Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will start early next year, Prime Minister John Key announced at the APEC Summit in Japan today.

“Free trade deals offer real benefits for jobs and economic growth in New Zealand and I am very pleased to be able to announce the start of negotiations on this FTA,” says Mr Key.

. . . “Russia is also one of the world’s emerging powerhouses, with Brazil, India and China.  It is the 12th largest economy in the world and the world’s fifth-largest food importer, with food imports reaching US$30 billion in 2008.

“An FTA with Russia would give us an improved position in that market.  New Zealand’s exports to Russia grew 267 per cent from NZ$51 million to NZ$187.1 million between 2000 and 2009. There is further strong growth potential, not only in food and beverage exports but also in agritech, specialised manufacturing and clothing.”

It’s good news for New Zealand in general and the primary sector in particular.

The Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb NZ  say improved market access in Russia will provide exciting opportunities.

B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said while Russia is currently a relatively small market for the New Zealand red meat industry, it’s a country with a substantial population of red meat consumers. They have increasing incomes and the potential to support significant market growth.

Over the last five years, the New Zealand red meat industry’s exports to Russia have been around $30 million annually, mainly consisting of sheepmeat and beef offals.

Exports peaked at $56 million in 2008 before the impact of the global financial crisis softened Russian demand for imported meat last year.

MIA Chairman, Bill Falconer said that while Russian imports of red meat have been volatile, the expectation is that Russian demand for red meat will continue to increase and that a significant proportion of this increased demand will have to be met by imports.

An arrangement with Russia would be significant if it provided genuine improved access into the market.

Securing an FTA with Russia is important because it’s not just about eliminating tariffs, it’s also about addressing non-tariff barriers that restrict trade, he said.

The Chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, Malcolm Bailey, said the FTA talks with Russia and its Customs Union partners, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as great news for the New Zealand dairy industry.

“New Zealand is really picking up pace in the FTA game” said Bailey.  “Adding Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to our growing list of FTA partners should mean new market opportunities for New Zealand dairy exporters.  Russia is already a significant butter market for New Zealand and reducing trade restrictions will only lead to further growth and diversification in the future,” he said.

Bailey said it was also a smart strategy to place New Zealand as one of the first countries to negotiate an FTA with Russia.  “Russia is a vast country with an economy that promises to continue to grow in the coming years.  Projections are for very significant growth in dairy consumption met by imports in the medium term.  Integrating our export industries with expanding Russian wealth and consumption is a good place for New Zealand to be.”

Russia is the world’s largest market for imports of butter and cheese.  New Zealand exports last year were around 33,200 tonnes, mostly butter and cheese, worth approximately $120 million.  New Zealand has the largest share of butter imported into Russia, last year supplying 28,600 tonnes which was over 50% of Russia’s internationally imported butter.

It’s not very long ago that China and Russia were cold war enemies. It’s much better not just for the economy but for security to be friends.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful about dealing with people who have different cultures and different values from us. But trade is a very good way to develop positive relationships from which both sides can benefit.


December 16 in history

16/12/2009

On December 16:

1431  Henry VI of Englandwas crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

1485  Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, was born.

1497  Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.

 

1653  Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1707  Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP.jpg

1770  Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer was born.

 Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820

1773  Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.

 This iconic 1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier was entitled “The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor

1775 Jane Austen, English writer, was born.

 A watercolour and pencil sketch of Jane Austen, believed to be drawn from life by her sister Cassandra (c. 1810)[A]

1787  – Mary Russell Mitford, English writer, was born.

1790  King Léopold I of Belgium, was born.

1850 The Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph brought the firs tsettlres to Lyttelton, New Zealand.

1882   Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricketer, was born.

 Jack Hobbs (left) walks out to the SCG with his opening partner Herbert Sutcliffe.

1883 Max Linder, French pioneer of silent film, was born.

Max Linder

1888  King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, was born.

 

1893  Antonín Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From The New World” was given its world première at Carnegie Hall.

1899  Sir Noel Coward, English playwright, actor and composer, was born.

Noël Coward, c. 1920s

 1905  Piet Hein, Danish mathematician and inventor


Piet Hein (Kumbel) in front of the H.C. Andersen statue in Copenhagen

1905 A great rugby rivalry was born when a last-minute try to All Black Bob Deans was disallowed, handing the Welsh victory.

All Black's 'non-try' hands Wales historic win

1907 The Great White Fleet (US Naval Battle fleet) began its circumnavigation of the world.

 Map of the Great White Fleet’s voyage.

1915  – Turk Murphy, American trombonist, was born.

1917  Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English writer, was born.

1920 The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, in  Gansu province in China, killed an estimated 200,000.

1938  Adolf Hitler institutd the Cross of Honor of the German Mother.

 Mutterkreuz

1943 Tony Hicks, English guitarist (The Hollies), was born.

 

1944 The Battle of the Bulge began with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.

1946 Benny Andersson, Swedish musician, singer and songwriter (ABBA), was born.

1947 Ben Cross, English actor, was born.

1947  William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain built the first practical point-contact transistor.

1949 Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knons as SAAB, was founded in Sweden.

Saab logo.svg

1952 Joel Garner, Barbadian West Indies cricketer, was born.

1955 – Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, was born.

1960  1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collided with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

  • 1971  Bangladesh War of Independence and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan army brings an end to both conflicts.
  • 1971 – Independence Day of the State of Bahrain from British Protectorate Status.

    1972  Angela Bloomfield, New Zealand actress, was born.

    1991 Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan.

    1997  Dennō Senshi Porygonan episode of Pokémon, was aired in Japan, inducing seizures in hundreds of Japanese children.

    2003  President George W. Bush signed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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