Press Releases, 11/22/2013
Minister Stubb to make a Team Finland trip and to attend the WTO conference
Press Release 246/2013
22 November 2013
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will make a Team Finland trip to New Zealand and Australia between 28 November and 3 December. He will be accompanied by a business delegation, consisting of representatives of the mining industry, the machine and construction industry, information technology, the forwarding business, health and well-being services, and the food industry. The delegation was assembled by Finpro.
In New Zealand, the Minister will visit Auckland and, in Australia, Sydney, Canberra and Perth. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the image of Finland as a country with a high level of competence and a target for investments, as well as to promote business operations of Finnish companies.
In Auckland, Minister Stubb will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully and Minister of Trade Tim Groser, and give a lecture at the University of Auckland. In addition, the Minister and the companies will attend events hosted by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and New Zealand’s trade promotion organisations.
In Sydney, the Minister and the delegation will meet investors and business partners in a function arranged by the Finland Australia Chamber of Commerce. In Canberra, Minister Stubb will meet Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop. In Perth, the programme will include a meeting with Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Marmion and a function held by Austmine, an Australian mining sector association.
Australia and New Zealand are markets with a high purchasing power that can offer business opportunities for Finnish companies as well. The Australian economy is the 12th largest in the world. This year, the estimated economic growth in the country is 2.6 per cent and the respective figure for New Zealand is 2.7 per cent. In 2012, the value of trade between Finland and Australia amounted to approximately EUR 800 million and between Finland and New Zealand to approximately EUR 100 million.
After the trade mission, Minister Stubb will participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference in Bali, Indonesia from 3 to 5 December. This is the ninth regular Ministerial Conference held by WTO.
The main goal of the conference is to reach an agreement on the Doha Round Bali ‘mini-package’. In the previous Ministerial conference in 2011, the negotiators were urged to proceed in the areas where reaching an agreement seemed possible. Therefore, in Bali, the intention is to find solutions to the agreement on trade facilitation, certain agricultural issues, and a few development issues.
The purpose of the trade facilitation agreement is to reduce business expenses by means of, for example, simplification and harmonisation of customs rules and procedures. As regards agriculture, the negotiations will focus on food security, tariff-quota administration, and export competition. The development themes concern establishment of a monitoring mechanism to review the implementation of special and differential treatment for developing countries. In relation to the least developed countries, the topics of discussion will include the preferential rules of origin, the implementation of special exemptions in trade in services, cotton, and duty- and quota-free market access.
The number of WTO members will increase by one, when Yemen’s accession to the WTO is approved at the conference.
The companies participating in the visit to New Zealand and Australia are: Capricode, Comptel, Doofor, Konecranes, Martin Bencher, Nuovo Nordic, Outotec and Snellman.
Additional information: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 40 841 7141; Petri Wanner, Inspector, Unit for Asia and Oceania, tel. +358 40 731 4509; and Jukka Pesola, Head of Trade Policy Unit, tel. +358 295 351 029