The Future of Asia 2012

TPP Beginning Of Wider Integration: New Zealand Energy Chief

Friday, May 24, 2013

TOKYO (Nikkei)--The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are likely to be a catalyst for increasing integration in the wider Asian region, Simon Bridges, New Zealand's minister for energy and resources, said Friday in Tokyo.

Speaking at the 19th International Conference on The Future of Asia, he said the appeal of the agreement would grow because the region is projected to have 1 billion new middle-class consumers within the next 20 years.

"The TPP won't end with the current 12 countries," Bridges said. "We welcome interest from others in the region. Over time, we New Zealanders think the TPP will provide a catalyst for wider trade and investment integration in the region."

The U.S., Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Australia are negotiating the terms of the agreement.

Bridges said Japan's push to expand exports of agricultural goods to wealthier consumers across the region was something New Zealand supported.

"There might be opportunities to work together in this area," he said. "We have complementary strengths."

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.