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Trade Minister Todd McClay has announced a series of trade-related public, iwi and business events signalling greater public engagement to help New Zealanders identify new opportunities and benefits from trade agreements.

Public meetings are planned around the country in June and July on New Zealand’s full trade negotiation agenda, including the NZ-China FTA upgrade, the prospective NZ-European Union FTA, Brexit, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Pacific Islands FTA – Pacer Plus, as well as discussions with the Pacific Alliance and countries of Mercosur.

“Trade is important to every region of the country and the jobs of more than six hundred thousand New Zealanders are linked to our export sectors,” Mr McClay says.

“It is important the public can talk about their priorities with our trade experts and discuss why we fight so hard for greater fairness in important overseas export markets.”

The first discussion will focus on the recently concluded Pacer Plus agreement between 12 Pacific Island countries, Australia and New Zealand will be held this week with the Council of International Development at Oxfam’s Auckland office.

“The Government’s recently launched trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, sets out our commitment to building confidence in trade. Our economy relies upon good access to overseas markets and it’s important that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to share in the benefits of trade deals,” Mr McClay says.

The meetings follow significant engagement in 2016 on TPP, RCEP, EU FTA and Trade Agenda 2030.

“Through this extensive public process, we are better able to deliver outcomes that benefit our economy. I am pleased to continue this engagement and seek to help build greater understanding of the significant benefits available to all through high-quality trade agreements,” Mr McClay says.

“We want New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses to give their views. This feedback will help inform the Government’s approach to future negotiations.”

Information on the public meetings can be found at: www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeengagement

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