The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
FORMER MINISTER FOR TRADE

Media release

Wednesday, 14 December 2005 - MVT93/2005

Vaile Welcomes Pakistan to the Cairns Group

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, today welcomed Pakistan as the newest member of the Cairns Group.

Mr Vaile, who is chair of the 18 member group of major agricultural exporters, said the addition of Pakistan as a member would bolster efforts by the Cairns Group to liberalise world trade in agricultural products.

"Pakistan is a growing economy with a population of 154 million people and it is the first South Asian member of the Cairns Group.

"In recent years Pakistan has liberalised its own agricultural sector and has seen the benefits that brings. It now wants to help the Cairns Group to continue the fight to break down the barriers to world trade in farm products.

"Pakistan first expressed its interest during the Prime Minister's recent visit to the country and I am pleased it was able to participate in its first Cairns Group Ministerial meeting today in Hong Kong at the 6 th WTO Ministerial Conference."

Mr Vaile was also pleased to welcome Nicaragua to the meeting as an observer. Nicaragua has also expressed interest in joining the group.

Contacts: Carissa Buckland 02 6277 7420

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