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Dairy access a hurdle in Russia trade deal talks

Radio New Zealand

Dairy access a hurdle in Russia trade deal talks

11 June 2012

The Government says New Zealand’s robust dairy sector is the main sticking point in brokering a free-trade deal with Russia.

Minister for Primary Industries David Carter attended the APEC Agricultural Ministers’ annual conference in Russian city of Kazan last week.

He met with his Russian counterpart to continue free trade negotiations which began in 2010.

Two-way trade is worth about $700 million, with New Zealand exporting dairy and meat, and importing oil products.

Mr Carter says if a deal is reached it will be Russia’s first international trade deal.

The biggest sticking point is dairy access though he hopes an agreement will be in place by the end of the year.

New Zealand is negotiating the trade deal with the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union.