9 Sep 2012

Key appealed for removal of farm subsidies at APEC

9:44 pm on 9 September 2012

New Zealand's Prime Minister appealed to global business leaders for the removal of farm subsidies in a speech at the APEC summit in Vladivostok.

John Key was one of 21 leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation who met in the Russian city at the weekend.

Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent reports Mr Key told chief executives from the Asia-Pacific on Friday that the nine-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, which include New Zealand, can go only so far in freeing up global agricultural trade.

The Prime Minister said farm subsidies had to be tackled - and that could only be achieved through the World Trade Organisation.

Mr Key's speech comes as the Doha round of trade talks in the WTO remain deadlocked after breaking down in 2008.

The United States-backed TransPacific Partnership and the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership were both vying to be the basis for a wider free trade deal covering all APEC economies.

New Zealand is signed up to both, but Stephen Jacobi of the New Zealand United States Council says exporters' interests would be best served by the TPP leading the way to an APEC-wide deal.