4 Mar 2009

Trade agreement 'big deal' for beef producers

1:34 pm on 4 March 2009

Meat & Wool New Zealand describes the prospect of a free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea as a "big deal" for domestic beef producers.

The Government has announced negotiations will start on an agreement as soon as possible.

Meat & Wool chairman Mike Petersen says Korea is currently New Zealand's second-biggest beef market, with about $NZ270 million worth of product shipped there.

A free trade agreement was signed last Friday between New Zealand and Australia and ASEAN countries.

Negotiations for a free trade agreement are also scheduled with India.

Mr Petersen says the push for trade agreements between nations and regional groups can be directly attributed to a breakdown in talks during the World Trade Organisation's DOHA round.

Like the DOHA talks, he says it's likely that the proposed agreement with Korea will be met with some resistance that the negotiators will have to work through.