Luxton Heads To Europe For Bilateral Talks (03 Mar 99)
The Minister for Food and Fibre, John Luxton, heads to Europe this week for a series of portfolio related meetings. He will also visit Morocco at the invitation of the Moroccan Government who are interested in establishing a relationship with the New Zealand fishing industry.
"Morocco, like New Zealand, has an extensive exclusive fishing zone and the Moroccans are particularly interested in our quota management system. Currently much of the Moroccan fishery is leased to Spanish and Portuguese companies, but the Moroccan Government is looking to build up its own industry."
"New Zealand fisheries have achieved a high standing internationally because of our quota system and the management of our exclusive economic zone. Our expertise in these areas is of significant interest to the Moroccans."
En route to Morocco, Mr Luxton will also attend a meeting of the Agricultural Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide. The council comprises the Australian Federal and State Ministers of Agriculture and the New Zealand Minister.
From Morocco, Mr Luxton will go to Rome for a series of annual meetings of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Included in the Minister's programme is a forestry meeting which will centre on the need for international programmes to support sustainable forest development, an area where New Zealand has considerable expertise.
The meeting will also discuss global action on forest fires and a proposed FAO strategic framework for forestry for 2000-2015, again a matter where New Zealand has a specific interest because of our extensive plantation forests as distinct from the native forests of other countries.
"At the annual fisheries Ministers' meeting, the FAO will also be discussing the contentious issue of eco-labelling of fish and fishery products, and it will be important for New Zealand to have it recognised that our fisheries are sustainably managed. The FAO Small Island Nations meeting will also provide an opportunity to promote the importance of New Zealand's approach to the next WTO round and gain support for this," Mr Luxton concluded.