S Korea free trade deal looms

TVNZ, New Zealand

S Korea free trade deal looms

29 April 2007

New Zealand has taken a big step closer to a free trade agreement with South Korea.

Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton has signed an Agricultural Cooperation Agreement with the Korean Agriculture Minister, during a trip to Seoul.

It is now leading to the very real possibility of the two agricultural sectors working a lot closer together.

It is the first agreement of its kind between the two countries and Mr Anderton says the future negotiations will have to be handled carefully.

He says that New Zealand cannot be selfish and will have to consider what will benefit both sides to make the deal a reality.

Mr Anderton is remaining cautiously optimistic, saying that the deal could be cemented in 2008

He points out that there are elections in Korea at the end of 2007 and that could delay things.

He also says that Korea have just completed a free trade agreement with the United States, which was a big step for them.

Mr Anderton says the total two-way trade between the New Zealand and South Korea is worth $2.2 billion dollars.

Source: Newstalk ZB

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