WikiLeaks cable: NZ's priorities for Apec 2006

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

February 8, 2006
NZ's priorities for Apec 2006

date:2006-02-08T03:26:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON102
destination:VZCZCXRO9159 RR RUEHCHI RUEHFK RUEHHM RUEHKSO RUEHPB DE
RUEHWL #0102/01 0390326 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 080326Z FEB 06 FM AMEMBASSY
WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2364 INFO RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC
ECONOMIC COOPERATION RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0048
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:06STATE14967|06WELLINGTON102
?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000102

SIPDIS

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FOR EAP/EP-MMILLER AND EAP/ANP-DRICCI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 0...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000102

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SIPDIS

FOR EAP/EP-MMILLER AND EAP/ANP-DRICCI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2016
TAGS: APECO, ECIN, ETRD, NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND'S PRIORITIES FOR APEC 2006

REF: STATE 14967

(U) Classified by: Political-Economic Counselor Katherine B.
Hadda. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Rupert Holborow, New Zealand's senior official for
APEC, said his government has identified key issues it would
like APEC 2006 to address, but "without specificity" since it
is waiting to learn about other APEC economies' priorities.
Meanwhile, New Zealand sees APEC Senior Official Chairman Le
Cong Phung as very capable, but is concerned that APEC 2006
may be "quieter" than in past years because an inexperienced
Vietnam is the host. Holborow wondered whether Vietnam would
have the confidence to drive the agenda and be "a bully at
the end of the day," as often has been necessary to obtain
economies' agreement. However, Holborow stressed he was not
yet judging Vietnam's ability to host APEC. "It gives pause
for thought," he said.

2. (U) In a meeting February 7, Holborow told Econoff that
New Zealand's priorities for the APEC 2006 agenda would be:

A. WTO and the Doha Development Agenda. While New Zealand
does not yet know what APEC might be able to do to move the
Doha Round forward, New Zealand believes APEC can make a
difference. Pushing for progress in the WTO remains New
Zealand's top priority for APEC.

B. Commitment to develop model chapters and guidelines for
free trade agreements and regional trade agreements by 2008.
While some economies favor completing a chapter at a time,
New Zealand would prefer that all chapters be tackled
simultaneously and that a timeline be set for finishing them.
Otherwise, New Zealand fears that the "easier" chapters
would be dealt with first, and progress would stall over the
tougher chapters.

C. Commitment to reducing trade facilitation -- or business
transaction -- costs by 5 percent this year. New Zealand
also would like an additional commitment to a 5 percent
reduction in 2007.

D. Enabling private sector development and improving the ease
of doing business, including such issues as trade
liberalization, trade facilitation and the regulatory
environment. New Zealand and Canada have proposed a
symposium, "Enabling Private Sector Development," for May
9-10 in Montreal, to coincide with APEC Business Advisory
Council meetings. Senior officials will be invited, and New
Zealand particularly hopes that U.S. Senior Official Michalak
or Assistant USTR Cutler will be able to attend.

E. Work on an agreement on investment.

F. Structural reform. New Zealand and Japan are sponsoring a
work plan through 2010. At the Third Senior Officials
Meeting, New Zealand will sponsor a seminar on public sector
governance.

G. Avian influenza and health issues. Mark Jacobs, director
of public health, will represent New Zealand on the health
task force.

H. Counter-terrorism. New Zealand supports Singapore's supply
chain management proposal. New Zealand will contribute NZ
$200,000 (US $136,160) to the Asia Development Bank for a
project to harmonize aviation and security regulations in the
Pacific. In addition, Holborow said New Zealand should soon
sign the memorandum of understanding to participate in the
Regional Movement Alert List System and be added to the
communique by March 1.

3. (C) Holborow remarked that the U.S. achieved success in
promoting its counter-terrorism initiatives in APEC last year
by rolling the initiatives out early, keeping their number to
a minimum and then "quietly thumping away" at gaining support
for them.

4. (U) Holborow noted that Michalak, during his confirmation
hearing January 31 before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, identified as a U.S. objective for APEC the
protection of the food supply against deliberate
contamination. Given the New Zealand economy's dependence on
agriculture, Holborow is particularly keen to learn what the
U.S. has in mind in this area.

5. (SBU) Holborow will arrive in Hanoi for the Senior
Officials Meeting on February 25. His office has asked
EAP/EP for a meeting with Michalak. Meanwhile, the New
Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on February 7

WELLINGTON 00000102 002 OF 002


instructed its posts to seek information on APEC economies'
objectives for 2006.
McCormick

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