Philippines looks forward to increased trade with New Zealand

May. 28, 2007

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (via PLDT) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today she is looking forward to heightened trade activities between the Philippines and New Zealand, citing the big growth potential of the two countries two-way commerce.

The President, who arrived here today on the first leg of a five-day, two-nation overseas trip to bolster trade and bilateral relations between the Philippines and her host countries, said she discussed this morning with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark the possibility of processing New Zealands milk exports in the Philippines.

Also on the agenda of the discussions were greater cooperation between the Philippines and New Zealand on environmental management, human rights and indigenous peoples welfare.

The two leaders also discussed possible air services linkage to boost tourism between the two countries.

The Philippines is the fourth biggest market for dairy products from New Zealand, and the second biggest market for New Zealands milk export.

The processing of New Zealands milk exports in the Philippines would reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries now enjoyed by the former.

“Today, we were discussing how some of the milk processing can be done in the Philippines,” the President said.

Last year, New Zealand was the Philippines’ 25th trading partner, 30th export market, and ranked 22nd as an import market.

The value of RP exports to New Zealand increased by 36.52 percent from US$38.86 million in 2005 to $53.06 million in 2006 with the bulk of exports being food products and electronics.

On the other hand, imports from New Zealand declined by 1.75 percent from US$276.25 million in 2005 to $271.41 million in 2006. Eighty percent of Philippine imports from New Zealand consisted of food items, mainly dairy products and bird’s eggs.

Clark said the Philippines has become an important trade partner for New Zealand and is now its 12th biggest market with two-way trade worth more than NZ$650 million last year.

“There are new opportunities to be explored in the energy and technology sectors, afforestation, and in the development of the Philippines’ dairy industry. The New Zealand-Australia-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated may help open more doors, particularly in the areas of services and investment,” Clark said. (OPS) (

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