Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith spoke of the importance of the openness of economy at the annual International Conference on The Future of Asia.

"We need to ensure that the openness on which the regional economy is based is strengthened and that arguments for protectionism are rebutted," Mr Goldsmith told the conference in Toky, organised by Nikkei on 30 May.

He also emphasised deepening relations between New Zealand and Japan in the food sector, and also expressed his expectation to collaborate with Japan in the area of geothermal energy.

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Paul Goldsmith's full address: New Zealand’s Response to the Trade Challenge (external link)