Trade Minister David Parker is heading for the United Kingdom and Europe tomorrow, with a UK free trade agreement and the World Trade Organisation on his agenda.
Mr Parker will first meet with his British counterpart, UK Secretary for Trade Liz Truss in London, before heading to Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
“The UK is one of New Zealand’s closest friends and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this new chapter in our relationship at such an important point in the UK’s history,” said Mr Parker.
“Our Government is pursuing an active trade agenda, and we are confident the UK is a partner with whom we can negotiate an ambitious agreement at an early stage following the UK’s exit from the EU.”
The World Economic Forum runs from 22-24 January in Davos, Switzerland. While there, Mr Parker will participate as a panellist on Trade, Environment and Global Value chains.
He will also hold bilateral meetings with trade counterparts, attend a Swiss-hosted WTO mini-ministerial, a “Cairns Group” meeting of nations advocating for greater agricultural trade liberalisation, and a Canada-hosted “Ottawa Group” session on WTO reform.
Mr Parker says these engagements are critical as WTO members prepare for the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan in June.
“We need to promote New Zealand’s position on fisheries and fossil fuel subsidies, the appellate body impasse, agriculture and efforts to promote a more inclusive and sustainable trade agenda,” said Mr Parker.