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NZ Strengthens Ties With China & Japan


NEW ZEALAND - Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley is leaving New Zealand tonight to lead a delegation of fishing and aquaculture industry representatives on a seven-day visit to China and Japan.

"The aim of the trip is to strengthen our fisheries' relationships with China and Japan, particularly with respect to investment opportunities for industry," says Mr Heatley.

While overseas the Minister will meet with government representatives, senior officials and industry leaders to discuss a number of subjects including retail trends and consumer buying patterns.

In China the delegation will visit Beijing, as well as Yantai and Weihai in the Shandong province. The group will meet with officials and industry leaders and hopes to share information on technical developments and to examine investment opportunities.

"Direct imports to China combined with those to Hong Kong make this the top seafood market for New Zealand with exports valued at NZ$410 million," says Mr Heatley.

In Japan the delegation will be based in Tokyo. The group will look to build on longstanding relationships for technology-sharing opportunities, and encourage investment.

"Japan is an important high-value market for New Zealand seafood. The group will be interested in discussing Japan's current fisheries strategy and exploring opportunities for enhancing the market there," says Mr Heatley.

"There is significant potential to achieve improved marketing and commercial presentation to add value to the New Zealand seafood product in Japan," he said.