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It’s been labelled a gold-standard free trade agreement, and the figures confirm this. The NZ-UK FTA is now in force, and the economy is set for a major boost. 

The New Zealand UK FTA came into force on May 31st, the latest in seven new or upgraded Free Trade Agreements negotiated in recent times, and the benefits began flowing immediately. It is expected to further boost New Zealand’s economy and bring an up to $1 billion increase to the country’s annual GDP. 

According to the government, Kiwi businesses will immediately save around $37 million dollars, with the instant elimination of tariffs and new duty-free quotas now covering 99.5 percent of current exports.

“Trade agreements can at times feel more academic than tangible, that is until the savings begin to flow through to every day New Zealanders, saving businesses millions and boosting jobs for Kiwis,” Trade Minister Damien O’Connor is quoted as saying.  

“Our wine industry is New Zealand’s biggest export to the UK and will see at least $25 million in tariffs disappear overnight. Honey producers will no longer face a 16 percent duty and our dairy and red meat sectors will transition to duty and quota free access for the first time in 50 years.” 

O’Connor says the proportion of New Zealand export goods covered by an FTA have expanded from 52.5 percent to 73.5 percent since 2017 and shows the importance of the agreements to growing exports.

“In a cost-of-living crisis, the UK FTA cuts costs for exporters, boosts opportunities for small businesses, and will protect and create more jobs for New Zealanders. One in four jobs depend on trade – showing the importance of trade to our nation’s growing economy.

“As the first FTA launched and concluded under New Zealand’s Trade for All agenda, this agreement sets high ambition commitments in inclusive and sustainable trade with outcomes on environment, gender, and a dedicated chapter on Māori Trade and Economic Cooperation.”

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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