Key: Working hard for the money



Instead of keeping the New Zealand media busy with daily housing policy releases, poverty claims and other destructive, whining and non-contributing behaviour like Labour’s people do, John Key is busting his balls for the country’s exporters and foreign exchange earners.

Mr Key and Trade Minister Todd McClay are leading a 22-strong business delegation on a whirlwind two-day visit to Indonesia aimed at boosting ties between the two countries.

Indonesia is New Zealand’s 13th largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth about $1.6 billion a year.

But with a population of more than 250 million, a growing economy and an expanding middle class, there’s room for New Zealand exporters to do more.

One of the stumbling blocks in the relationship has been Indonesia’s import restrictions on beef products, which are the result of a domestic political push for Indonesia to become self sufficient.

Since 2010 there’s been an 80 per cent decline in beef exports to Indonesia – once New Zealand’s second-largest market for beef products – and the accumulated impact for the sector is now estimated at between $500 million and $1 billion.

The government is waiting for the outcome of a World Trade Organisation case it took challenging Indonesia’s trade barriers, but Mr Key will still be raising the broader issue of fairer access for New Zealand beef.

“We’d like to have better access to this market, we know that they’ve got a problem because beef prices are very high here for domestic consumers and we can help reduce those beef prices for them,” Mr Key told reporters.

Tim Ritchie from the Meat Industry Association said the import restrictions have hampered the development of a relationship that could be a win-win for both parties.

“Given the volatility and unpredictability of what’s going to happen, it’s very hard for a meat company to plan production to meet requirements that might be there or might not be,” he said.

“Certainly it totally discourages investing in the market in terms of the relationships and doing what you would normally do to integrate into the market.”

Mr Ritchie said New Zealand exporters want to be in the Indonesian market for the long haul.

“I think no matter what we want to have a good relationship with Indonesia, we want to help them in their development and we can help with the product, we can help them with technology.”

It seems rather backward to have a very expensive and under-supplied domestic beef market for a country that’s so overpopulated they can’t possibly increase their own production.  So, the protection of local beef producers comes at an incredible cost to their consumers who are paying big dollars.

If anyone can loosen the trade restriction wedge that was driven into this relationship by Indonsia then it is John Key.


– NZN via Yahoo! News

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