Russia FTA Smart Strategy and Good Business for New Zealand Dairy Exporters

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The Chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, Malcolm Bailey, today described New Zealand FTA talks with Russia and its Customs Union partners, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as great news for the New Zealand dairy industry.

He was responding to the announcement by Prime Minister John Key in Japan today that NZ and Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would commence Free Trade Agreement negotiations in early 2011.

“New Zealand is really picking up pace in the FTA game” said Bailey. “Adding Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to our growing list of FTA partners should mean new market opportunities for New Zealand dairy exporters. Russia is already a significant butter market for New Zealand and reducing trade restrictions will only lead to further growth and diversification in the future” he said.

Bailey said it was also a smart strategy to place New Zealand as one of the first countries to negotiate an FTA with Russia. “Russia is a vast country with an economy that promises to continue to grow in the coming years. Projections are for very significant growth in dairy consumption met by imports in the medium term. Integrating our export industries with expanding Russian wealth and consumption is a good place for New Zealand to be.”

Russia is the world’s largest market for imports of butter and cheese. New Zealand exports last year were around 33,200 tonnes, mostly butter and cheese, worth approximately $120 million. New Zealand has the largest share of butter imported into Russia, last year supplying 28,600 tonnes which was over 50% of Russia’s internationally imported butter.

For further information contact:

Malcolm Bailey, Chairman,
Tel: 021-741-165

Simon Tucker, Executive Director,
Tel: 021-961-394

About DCANZ:

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) was formed in July 2003 to co-ordinate and represent the collective public policy interests of its member dairy companies. Its members comprise Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company Ltd, Westland Milk Products, Fonterra Brands (NZ) Ltd, Goodman Fielder Ltd, Synlait Ltd, New Zealand Dairies Ltd and Open Country Dairies