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New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement Combined Manufacturers/officials Meeting

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New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement

■ Combined Manufacturers/Officials Meeting

Representatives of the Associated Chambers of

Manufactures of Australia and the New Zealand Manufacturers'

Federation, together with Australian and New Zealand

Government officials met in Wellington on 7 November to

examine difficulties currently being experienced in the

operation of the Agreement, and to investigate ways and

means whereby it could be implemented to the greater

advantage of both countries„ '

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of

Mr R.G. Speirs, President of the New Zealand Manufacturers'

Federation, The Australian delegation was led by Mr F.R.

Curtis, President of the Associated Chambers of Manufactures

of Australia, The' delegations bf 'Government officials

were led by the Deputy Secretary of the Australian

Department of Trade and Industry, Mr W. Callaghan, and

the New Zealand Secretary of.Industries and Commerce,

Mr M.J. Moriarty. ·

In comprehensive discussion of all aspects of

the Agreement the Nevf Zealand delegates emphasised the

need for a closer balance of trade between the two countries.

In seeking this objective, and in the wider

.context of progressing towards an Agreement acceptable to

manufacturers in both countries, there was a renewed·

understanding that the expansion of the trade coverage


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should not result in serious damage to industries in either New

Zealand or Australia, and should not restrict the establishment

of worthwhile new industries in either country. Both Australian

and New Zealand manufacturers expressed satisfaction with the

consultative procedures that had been established to examine

the desirability of bringing additional specific commodities

within the scope of the Agreement.

While expressing reservations concerning the speed

with which the commodity coverage of the Agreement should be

increased, manufacturers of both countries recognised that'

the Agreement provides opportunities for a mutual increase in

trade and valuable scope for rationalisation and development

of manufacturing in certain areas of trade between Australia

and New Zealand. In particular, the operation of arrangements

under Article 3*7 of the Agreement, .whereby certain specified

New Zealand manufactured goods outside the present scope of

the Agreement may enter Australia duty free in return for

entry concessions on the part of New Zealand for agreed '

Australian manufactures was regarded as a positive means of

encouraging New Zealand's industrial growth and reducing the

trade gap. At the same time, there would be associated new

opportunities for Australia's exports to New Zealand.

New Zealand and Australian manufacturers, working

jointly, have already submitted some 50 proposals and

enquiries under Article 3*7 for consideration by officials of

both Governments. Some proposals have been approved and it

is expected that a substantial number will be approved and

come into operation in the near future.


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It was stated that in some instances New Zealand

manufacturers who had established a market in Australia

had found sales of their goods inhibited by higher tariffs

aimed at countries other than New Zealand. The Australian

Department of Trade and Industry accepted a suggestion

that Australia should not, without prior consultation,

increase duties which would adversely affect New Zealand

exports. This undertaking was welcomed by the New

Zealand delegates.

The meeting noted that a Joint Consultative

Council on Forest Industries had been established by the

Governments. The New Zealand delegations re-affirmed .

the importance they attached to the development of trade

in forest products. The meeting took note of the fact

that discussions were still proceeding on a company level

which it was hoped would resolve existing difficulties

and thereby open up new opportunities.

It was agreed that the meeting had succeeded in

resolving a number'of difficulties that existed and had

resulted in the closer understanding of the mutual

benefits that could be derived from the Agreement. It

was agreed that similar meetings be held annually in the


7 November, 196?