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Trade Minister Off To Examine Slippery Slope Of World Economy

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tim Groser
Tim Groser

By Kevin Norquay of NZPA

Wellington, Jan 26 NZPA - Trade Minister Tim Groser heads for luxury Swiss ski resort Davos tomorrow, with the slumping world economy the only slippery slope he is likely to examine closely.

Mr Groser will get to see what stance the United States administration under new president Barack Obama is likely to take toward New Zealand when he attends the World Economic Forum.

And he will fight against plans by European countries to introduce trade sanctions in a bid to stave off the recession.

Such sanctions have the potential to harm New Zealand exporters and the local economy.

Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English both spoke today of how important Davos was to New Zealand.

It would be the first meeting to meet trade representatives out of the United States and get a sense of where the Obama trade negotiations might go, Mr Key said.

It also marked the way forward for the stalled Doha trade round.

"In broad terms Davos is going to be very important as countries share notes on what is going to be their pathway out of this recession," he said.

Forty-one heads of state, 60 ministers, 10 ambassadors, 1400 chairmen and chief executives were expected to attend Davos.

World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab has said the meeting, which starts on Thursday (New Zealand time), will be the most important in its 39-year history.

Called Shaping the Post-Crisis World, it will focus on how to stabilise and repair the global financial system, with those with economic power and influence all gathered in one place.

The focus was expected to be how liquidity can be returned to the banking system, how to fight unemployment, and what recession meant for the low-carbon economy.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao are probable attendees, but President Obama was never Davos-bound.

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