Thursday, 23 June 2022 11:55

O'Connor attends WTO meeting

Written by  Peter Burke
Trade and Export Minister Damien O'Connor. Trade and Export Minister Damien O'Connor.

Trade Minister Damien O'Connor is currently in Geneva for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference.

The WTO has been in disarray for some time with some of the world's larger jurisdictions failing to abide by rules-based trading, which is one of the cornertsones of the organisation.

The problems for the WTO have been exacerbated by the Ukraine war, which has seen western delegated refusing to meet with Russian representatives.

The WTO is regarded by New Zealand as very important because it underpins some of our key trading agreements, in particular with the EU.

O'Connor says, as a trading nation at the bottom of the pacific, New Zealand strongly believes that the rules-based trade system and multilateralism are essential to finding long-term solutions to global problems. He says he'll be advocating for NZ values and interests at every turn.

While at the conference, O'Connor will meet with ministerial counterparts from other countries - especially the EU - to try and get some traction the current FTA negotiations, which appear to be in a hiatus.

"New Zealand is open for business and being able to meet counterparts in person at the WTO is essential for us to furher our strong trading relationships and ensure our voice is heard," he says.

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