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Public discussion on Regional Economic Partnership

Trade Minister Todd McClay is inviting public discussion on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade negotiation as part of the 13th round of the negotiation to be held in Auckland from June 12 to 18.

The peon session will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 3 pm at Sky City Convention Centre.

RCEP represents significant trade and investment opportunity for New Zealand. It covers 16 countries with a combined population of more than three billion people and represents 27% of global trade worth $12.7 trillion annually.

Mr McClay said that a public discussion with New Zealand negotiators will be held during the 13th round of the trade negotiation in Auckland, as part of on-going engagement with stakeholders on New Zealand’s trade negotiations and strategy.

“I am committed to developing a more inclusive process for trade negotiations. The session will be open to anyone who wants to understand more about how New Zealand actively participates in the development of the trade and economic architecture of the Asia Pacific region and will provide opportunities to talk directly with our negotiators,” he said.

The open session will cover a general overview of the RCEP negotiations followed by a Q&A session.

Mr McClay said that he was eager that everyone has an opportunity to learn more about trade and trade negotiation. Hence, the public discussion with be live-streamed to allow people in any part of New Zealand to participate.

“We are also exploring ways to allow the public to send questions during the webcasts to be put before our negotiating team. There will also be an opportunity, open to anyone, to register their views with negotiators from the range of RCEP countries at an earlier session. This session will cover a general overview of the RCEP negotiations followed by a focus on services,” Mr McClay said.

Anyone interested in attending the discussion with New Zealand negotiators, or the session with negotiators from the range of RCEP countries, should register at RCEP Information Session by June 10, 2016.

In addition, negotiators from all the RCEP countries will continue to engage with a number of sector specific stakeholders, including businesses on non-tariff barriers.

Mr McClay has also offered the Iwi Leaders Group and the Federation of Maori Authorities a briefing on the RCEP negotiations.

“The RCEP negotiations are part of New Zealand’s ongoing trade agenda. A successful RCEP FTA will help New Zealand businesses gain easier and better access to this dynamic and fast-growing region and will provide significant benefits to our economy,” he said.

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Todd McClay

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