EU - New Zealand trade negociations are officially on tracks

The agreement «could increase trade in goods by almost 50%, or by one third if both goods and services are considered» (European Commission)

After the launch of negotiations with Australia earlier this week, which follows on the footsteps the agreements with Mexico, Japan, Singapore and Canada, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and New Zealand’s Minister for Trade David Parker have today formally launched talks for a «comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement».

The negotiations will aim at removing barriers to trade in goods and services, as well as developing trade rules to make trade easier and more sustainable. According to Commissioner Malmström «this agreement is an excellent opportunity to set ambitious common rules and shape globalisation, making trade easier while safeguarding sustainable development».

This free trade agreement (FTA) will pursue five key objectives according to New Zealand foreign affairs and trade office : promote adherence to environmental and labour standards, better living conditions for New Zealanders and sustainable and progressive economic growth ; reduce the costs local businesses face at the border by removing tariffs (import duties) and other barriers ; level the playing field with countries that currently pay less due to existing free trade agreements with the EU ; lower costs for consumers, making things like food and consumer goods cheaper for New Zealanders ; ensure this FTA works for companies of all sizes, big and small.

Bilateral trade in goods between the EU and New Zealand – which is one of the world’s fastest-growing developed economies – stood at 8.7 billion euros last year.The sectors which make up the bulk of EU exports to New Zealand are manufactured goods like transport equipment, and machinery and appliances, as well as chemicals, plastics, food, and services. In addition, a further 4.4 billion euros is exchanged in services (2016). The EU is New Zealand’s third biggest trade partner and the agreement «could increase trade in goods by almost 50%, or by one third if both goods and services are considered», remembers the European Commission.

The first formal round of talks between the respective sides’ teams of negotiators will take place in Brussels from 16 to 20 July.


Photo: David Parker, Minister of Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand, at the podium right, and Cecilia Malmström / © European Union, 2018 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

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