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New Zealand PM to leave for South Africa to pay respects

New Zealand PM to leave for South Africa to pay respects WELLINGTON, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will leave for South Africa on Monday to attend the official memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Key said on Monday that many New Zealanders felt an emotional connection to Mandela and the country's sympathies are with South Africa at this difficult time.

S. Korea launches preliminary talks to review joining TPP

S. Korea launches preliminary talks to review joining TPP SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- South Korea launched preliminary bilateral talks Tuesday to review whether to join the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral trade pact in the Pacific region. South Korean Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick held a dialogue with his New Zealand counterpart Tim Groser in Bali, Indonesia where the two ministers visited to participate in the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).

NZ welcomes resumption of trade negotiations with South Korea

NZ welcomes resumption of trade negotiations with South Korea WELLINGTON, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser welcomed South Korea's decision to resume formal negotiations on free trade agreement, following a meeting Tuesday in Bali with his South Korean counterpart Yoon Sang-jick.

Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 3

Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 3 TOKYO -- Japan's monetary base rose 52.5 percent in November from a year earlier to a record 189.72 trillion yen (about 1.84 trillion U.S. dollars) due to the central bank's ultra loose monetary policy aimed at beating Japan's prolonged deflation, according to local media Tuesday.

NZ minister to face electoral fraud charges, resigns portfolios

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The leader of a small party providing a majority for the New Zealand government resigned as a cabinet minister on Wednesday after being sent to trial for alleged electoral fraud. John Banks, leader and sole elected member of the free-market ACT party, resigned his portfolios after a court ruled he should answer charges he improperly disguised political donations from Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom and a casino company.

China unlikely to join TPP trade talks anytime soon: NZ trade minister

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - China is unlikely to join talks on an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement anytime soon, but eventually the world's No. 2 economy will have to be involved in the pact, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said on Wednesday. Speaking at a New Zealand-China business event, Groser also said that the island nation had to up its game when dealing with Beijing, its largest export market, following a food safety scare in China concerning New Zealand dairy products.

Japan's farming can survive, thrive after TPP: N.Z. trade minister

Japan's agricultural sector will be able to weather the shock from the removal of trade barriers under the Trans-Pacific Partnership with time and technical assistance from partner countries, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said Friday in Tokyo. Projections that parts of Japan's agriculture industry will be obliterated by the envisaged tariff elimination fail to provide for the positive influence of innovation and cooperation, Groser told a press conference during a visit in which he is also slated to meet Japanese farmers in Hokkaido.

New Zealand passes law allowing domestic spying

New Zealand passed legislation Wednesday allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite opposition from rights groups, international technology giants and the legal fraternity. The bill to expand the power of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) passed by 61 votes to 59 after impassioned debate, with Prime Minister John Key acknowledging the move had left some people "agitated and alarmed". "This is not, and never will be, about wholesale spying on New Zealanders," Key told parliament.

S. Korean, Indonesian candidates out of WTO race

South Korea and Indonesia confirmed Friday their candidates to head the World Trade Organisation had failed to make it to the final round, saying the mood had been for a Latin American nominee. Former South Korean trade minister Bark Tae-Ho "unfortunately failed to make it to the third round", the foreign ministry said in a statement. Indonesia's former trade minister Mari Pangestu also failed to get through as the candidates from Mexico and Brazil had been selected for the final round, Indonesian trade minister Gita Wirjawan said in a statement.

S. Korean WTO candidate out of race

South Korea confirmed Friday its candidate to head the World Trade Organisation had failed to make it to the final selection round, saying the general mood had been for a Latin American nominee. Former trade minister Bark Tae-Ho "unfortunately failed to make it to the third round", the foreign ministry said in a statement. The statement cited unconfirmed reports that Brazil's WTO ambassador Roberto Azevedo and Mexico's Herminio Blanco, a former senior trade negotiator, would fight it out in a final head-to-head.
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