New Zealand needs to keep fighting for open markets and free trade in the face of rising global tensions, says visiting OECD director of trade and agriculture Ken Ash.

"You need to be unapologetic globalists," Ash says.

Free trade can survive the current populist backlash, Ash says, but there needs to be more done to ensure the benefits are fairly distributed.

"You need to continue to make the case for openness. And for domestic policies that go along with that openness so that more people can benefit from market opportunities."

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As a small country New Zealand punched well above its

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