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New Zealand PM agrees to initiate bilateral free trade

May '08
South Korea and New Zealand have concluded a mutual contract to start exploring potential markets in each others country by means of a free trade agreement.

This agreement was reached at a summit between Mr Lee Myung-Bak, President of South Korea and Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Ms Helen Clark was on a three-day official visit to South Korea which culminated in a agreement between the two leaders who also agreed to launch preparatory talks to discuss the feasibility of a bilateral free trade.

New Zealand exports to the Republic of Korea, its sixth largest export market, increased by 21 percent in 2007.

A research study made by experts show that initiation of bilateral trade would add US $5.9 billion to the GDP of South Korea every year and $4.5 billion to that of New Zealand.

Besides, annual exports of New Zealand to South Korea would also jump by 60 percent or $329 million while South Korea's shipment to New Zealand would rise by 11 percent to $64 million.

Moreover, imports to New Zealand from Korea include technology and petrol among others. Korea is also a world leader in the information and communications technology.

Both the heads shared the view that there is immense scope for expanding bilateral trade since the countries have complementary economic structures.

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