Putin, Key hopeful for trade agreement
Sun, 09 Sep 2012 7:13a.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner in Vladivostok
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Prime Minister John Key he "hopes" a free trade agreement with New Zealand will be signed but neither party can say when.
And in a sign that negotiations are fraught and getting harder, Mr Putin says concluding a deal is far from easy.
“It isn’t a simple matter, but I can assure you we are determined to bring this work to successful completion and I hope it will be done,” says Mr Putin.
“We need to find solutions to all issues that are impeding an FTA. Once again it is a difficult process that requires the ability to compromise but we need and must find compromise," says Mr Putin.
Mr Key and Mr Putin met last night for 30 minutes and afterwards Mr Key said the deal wouldn’t be finalised this year and it was only a “possibility” that it could be signed next year.
The positive signal from Mr Putin is what New Zealand was looking for at this APEC summit, but the delays in signing the deal show just how difficult it is for heavily subsidised countries like Russia to get these trade deals over the line.
Mr Key says New Zealand wants a high quality deal, otherwise it’s not worth it.
A high quality deal means reducing Russia’s high tariffs and subsidies on our agriculture products coming into the country, but Mr Putin needs to convince his voters it’s worth it.
Russia has a growing middle class and new found wealth in minerals and opening up this market of 140 million Russians could signal a windfall new market for Kiwi farmers.
It’s likely Russia will want to stage the removal of tariffs over time, like the free trade agreement New Zealand signed with China in 2008.
Earlier Mr Putin had kept Mr Key waiting almost two hours for the meeting after getting caught up hosting other APEC events. Russian journalists say he is always fashionably late for meetings.
Mr Key was not worried about the delay in getting the meeting underway.
APEC wraps up later today after the leader’s retreat. Mr Putin says this APEC is about building bridges for the future but he admitted last night the world economy was weak.
“The recovery of the global economy is faltering,” he told leaders as they gathered in Vladivostok.
His concerns come on top of the negative sentiments aired by some of the world’s top chief executives a day earlier who agreed the world economy was struggling and getting weaker.
Mr Putin says one of the answers is to break down barriers to trade and open up markets.
Although, as New Zealand is finding out, that’s easier said than done for big countries like Russia, Japan and America, which despite their rhetoric at this APEC meeting, are still some of the most heavily subsidised countries in the world, along with greater Europe.
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16/09/2012 3:24:36 a.m.
Look at the photo , Putin is saying I dont trust this bugger ,
15/09/2012 11:46:35 a.m.
who paid for your trip to Russia Duncan
12/09/2012 3:04:42 p.m.
I just want a easy visa free trip to Russia.
9/09/2012 6:39:12 p.m.
A picture paints a thousand words, man on left says, "Look at me, look at me", man on right thinks, Who is this loose, he wants to do what.
9/09/2012 4:39:25 p.m.
dave richmond wrote:
Key is shaking hands of a Russian leader who supplies arms too those who our Kiwi soldiers that have to fight against.And why did our PM have to go too Russia as English has just returned from there,is it that our PM does not trust his finance minister?next we will hear our PM has gone up too America to follow the tracks of his finance minister too make sure he has not said any thing un towards their deals already done at the last meetings.He had better get home soon, as Joyce is getting itchy feet,for the next non voted in primeminister like what English ,Shipley has done recently,and not forgetting Brash.
9/09/2012 2:03:03 p.m.
I agree allison,if putin is looking at key like that,perhaps he may realise itsjust another photo opportunity.Whenever our commodities are sold overseas nz'ers always pay higher pricesand lamb and dairy products are the maintargets,ffs people are hungry here whymake prices higher and out of the reach of the bulk of the population, no amount of nact spin will make food affordable.
9/09/2012 11:33:07 a.m.
Well its not like New Zealand farmers arent subsidised.
Though its not as direct as russia, America, europe etc.
Look at the fact that farmers are set to receive around 10 percent of the total proceeds from asset sales with Key promising 400 Million dollars for water purification.
Look at the fact that its also not farmers that are paying for the damage that they do to the environment, but rather the New Zealand tax payer which in my mind equates to a pollution subsidy.
In saying that exports have grown in the farming sector substantially, not because of anything National has done... but because there has been a large increase in demand for food commodities around the world because of commodity shortages so some of our farmers are experiencing record returns (while still escaping their environmental responsibilities and the tax payer continues to fund their cleanups).
Again though, increased exports didnt happen because of National but because of foreign demand for our goods and those of other food producing nations.
Look at what that has done to domestic prices, commodities like lamb have been priced out of most peoples reach.
Milk here is also priced exhorbitantly high... even though only 4 percent of Fonterra's supply ends up being sold domestically.
This is because farmers are taking advantage of kiwis and charging them for products based on international commodity prices.
Our food exports account for the majority of increases in export growth... but even though shady National Party supporters would have you believe that its because of National, it most certainly isnt as they have not lifted a finger to help exporters at all.
Russia will be keen to protect its farmers because the world economy is weak and we still border on going into depression... largely because of government cutbacks which was one the contributing causes of the recession in the early 20th century turning into the great depression.
Governments arent actually helping the worlds economy and in a lot of ways it is their fault that the world borders on another prolonged depression.
9/09/2012 8:44:12 a.m.
Putin looks like hes going to eat key alive.
9/09/2012 7:50:06 a.m.
Pie in the sky, just like John Key's Brighter Future.
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