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NZPECC held its AGM on June 20, 2012 in Wellington at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  It was attended by all board members, a selection of extended membership, the Minister for Trade the Hon Tim Groser and chaired by Denis McNamara.  A short socialising session followed the AGM where members were able to discuss the items raised in the meeting and were able to canvass the Hon Groser on his thoughts for the direction of open and liberal trade in the region. 

Download the entire NZPECC annual report 2012 (pdf, 637KB)

Minister of Trade, Mr. Tim Groser's address to PECC is available here (external link).

Address to the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council: TPP and New Zealand’s export future
The Honourable Tim Groser, MP
20 June 2012

I would like to start with a small reflective tribute to the late Sir Frank Holmes, an absolute stalwart of the PECC. This must be the first formal or informal PECC meeting I have attended in the last thirty years without Sir Frank being an integral part of the discussion.

Sir Frank, who passed away only recently, was a considerable intellectual influence on me and no doubt many people of my generation interested in international trade. Some of the first applied economics papers I read were written by Sir Frank, often in conjunction with Professor Peter Lloyd for the NZ Institute of Economic Research.

Like other international economists of the time – I am thinking of Richard Lipsey, Max Corden and others – Frank and Peter took the theory of the second-best, out of sophisticated game theory literature, and applied it in their case to NZ’s circumstances of the 1960s and 1970s. Put simply, this thinking hugely influenced the design and policy rationale of New Zealand’s first ever genuine FTA – the CER Agreement.

That first comprehensive FTA, finally ratified in 1983, had in turn a huge impact on policy thinking on FTAs around the world. It was literally the ‘gold standard’ of FTAs of its day. To say ‘of its day’ is probably understating its influence; fundamental design principles like progressive liberalisation over many years to deal with sensitivities, comprehensive product coverage, carefully designed review clauses and so forth continue to be valid and to influence Australian and New Zealand negotiating approaches, thirty years on. Read more...