Asia Pacific free trade – high quality agreement sought
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly made a call for free trade in the Asia Pacific region, at the Japan-New Zealand Partnership Forum in Tokyo today.
The New Zealand delegation at the Forum is seeking Japan’s involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a precursor to a wider Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).
Addressing the Forum, Mr O’Reilly alluded to Japan’s status as leading trading nation within and beyond the Asia Pacific region and its leadership in global supply chain trading.
“The inherent risks and vulnerabilities of global supply chains have been highlighted since the set of disasters last March,” he said, noting that free trade helps reduce costs and optimise supply chain efficiency.
He said a high quality free trade agreement would achieve liberalisation of trade in goods and services within the next decade.
“What we as business want to see from TPP is better regulation rather than no regulation, better government rather than no government and certainly better business rather than business which is constrained in its ability to meet customers’ needs.
“Japan will need to decide whether it is in Japan’s interest to be part of or stand aside from the move towards greater economic integration through TPP and FTAAP.
“The implications of engagement are very clear: TPP aims to be a high quality, comprehensive agreement and all the parties need to be able to live with that level of ambition.”
Mr O’Reilly said clearer rules, lower costs, and greater ease and certainty for business would all play their part in fostering competitive advantage.