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Trade Minister Tim Groser and Italian Trade Minister Adolfo Urso, today agreed to strengthen economic relations between Italy and New Zealand.
"More than ever in the face of today's economic difficulties, New Zealand and Italy are looking to expand industrial, economic and trade cooperation," said Mr Groser and Mr Urso after their meeting in Wellington.
Both Ministers agreed on strengthening economic relations between Italy and New Zealand at both the bilateral and multilateral level, and to hold regular consultations to focus on new opportunities for investment and trade.
Consultations would have a special focus on the marine industry, textiles, infrastructure, renewable energies, agro-food industries, information and communications technology and financial services.
"There are many areas where the economies of New Zealand and Italy complement each other, and there are more opportunities for both our business sectors than are currently being realised," said Mr Groser.
The Ministers were delighted with the success of the Business Forum hosted by the Italian Trade Commission in Auckland yesterday and the export breakfast at the Wellington Chamber of Commerce this morning.
"The theme of the forum, ‘Open for Business', says it all. We are committed to opening markets further, removing obstacles to trade and combating any form of protectionism.
"This is extremely important as we work to overcome today's global difficulties and as Italy looks forward to hosting the G8 Summit in July," said Mr Urso.
Both Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to concluding the Doha Round of negotiations in the WTO and cooperating in the restructuring of the international financial system.