19 Nov 2010

Former WTO chief has doubts about Trans-Pacific deal

11:41 am on 19 November 2010

A former head of the World Trade Organisation, Supachai Panitchpakdi, has raised doubts about the Trans-Pacific trade negotiations involving New Zealand.

Dr Supachai is now the secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and says he does not see much value in the proposed agreement.

He says there is a worrying build-up of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, which firms often find difficult because rules are different depending on which country they are doing business in.

Dr Supachai questions whether the proposed Trans-Pacific agreement would help.

And he says New Zealand's likely to do better out of a possible wider trade agreement with South-east Asian countries, China, Japan, Korea, India and Australia.