Trade Minister Tim Groser joined Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations to exchange views and provide further guidance to negotiators.
Ministers from the nine TPP participating countries were present in the United States for a meeting of APEC Trade Ministers.
“There was a sense that the negotiation is making steady progress and we agreed to aim for the broad outline of an agreement by November,” said Mr Groser.
Three negotiating rounds are scheduled to take place before Leaders of APEC economies meet in Honolulu in November.
TPP Ministers also directed their negotiators to make a top priority the achievement of an ambitious outcome to the negotiations.
“The strategic objective is to create a high quality trade agreement that would in time become a free trade area for the wider Asia-Pacific region,” said Mr Groser.
“The 20 other APEC economies have accounted for an increasing share of New Zealand’s exports to the world. Today that share is over 70% and these are the economies expected to account for the great share of global growth over coming years.”
The TPP builds on the existing P4 Trade Agreement between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.
Joining the meeting alongside Mr Groser were Australian Minister for Trade Craig Emerson, Bruneian Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Pehin Lim Jock Seng, Chilean Vice Minister of Trade Jorge Bunster, Malaysian Secretary General for International Trade and Industry Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Eduardo Ferreyros Kuppers, Singaporean Permanent Secretary for Trade and Industry Ow Foong Pheng, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc.
The seventh round of TPP negotiations will take place in Viet Nam next month.