UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Wednesday, June 6th, 301 AP.

Utania in multi-billion trade deal with Lendosan Confederation

Utania and the Lendosan Confederation have agreed terms for a trade deal for 21 million tonnes of agricultural produce worth C9.8 billion, or almost Û30 billion to the Utanian economy.

After weeks of speculation, Trade Minister Arthur Reagan MP announced that the Trade Ministry has agreed with the Lendosan Confederation Trade Monasia for the supply of agricultural goods worth 9,835 million Christianan Crowns, or Û29,505 million. The deal will provide almost 21 million tonnes of food and food products, plus cotton, representing an estimated 8% of the Lendosan market.

Minister Reagan was applauded by all sections of the Utanian Parliament, government and opposition alike, for "such a momental achievement and service to the people of Utania". The deal will provide much needed export revenue for Utania, which has been suffering under a mounting trade deficit, which would, under a fixed exchange rate, severely slow the Utanian economy down.

The Vice President, who rules over the Parliament, then announced that President Okarvits was forming a special body, the Utanian Trade Board (UTB) to promote Utanian produce overseas and establish actual offices instead of "working out of hotel conference rooms". A budget would be provided and positions would be created for the 90 or so Dept. of Trade public servants who have been living in hotels overseas. Relocation expenses, apartments and offices would be provided as part of the budget.

Minister Reagan had referred, in his speech, to the achievements of "he and his 'expensive' team", referring to a May 21 speech by opposition MP Gordan Kennett who criticised the Minister for an expense bill of over Û40 million per annum for the staff over seas. Mr Kennett has been quiet on the matter since the leaked announcement on May 24, and his commitment to force Mr Reagan to justify the expenses at a meeting with a Parliamentary sub-committee on May 30 dissipated.

Five hundred million tonnes of apples are part of the deal with the Lendosan Confederation, with further investment and trade deals still being negotiated.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)