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The FTA signed with the EU will deliver significant outcomes for selected sectors, but falls short of the high-quality agreement New Zealand signed with the UK, says Export NZ.

Export New Zealand executive director Josh Tan says the FTA opens up a market for goods previously obstructed by tariffs on products exported from New Zealand.

“The winning sectors on the day are the likes of horticulture, seafood, wine, and honey – who will be delighted with the outcomes. Our two largest goods export sectors, red meat and diary however would have been hoping for more commercially meaningful outcomes for their exports.

“Unfortunately the EU has not backed its own farmers to be competitive with meat and dairy farmers in New Zealand and maintained tariff protection for them. This is not only to the detriment of NZ exporters from our meat and dairy sectors, but it means that EU consumers will be paying more for our high quality sustainably produced food.

“On the bright side, our service exporters can now compete in the EU market on a more-level playing field alongside local offerings and others in market like the UK and Singapore.”

Tan says negotiating with as many countries and interests within the European Union can be difficult without compromise.

“While we could not call this FTA comprehensive, ExportNZ acknowledges the hard work New Zealand’s negotiators put in to secure this deal.

“We expect the FTA will come into force by this time next year and look forward to the seeing our exports continue to grow in the EU market.”


Cutting red tape

Chief Executive of The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Leeann Watson says Canterbury businesses export about $10 billion worth of goods, or to 15 percent of all New Zealand’s exports each year, and the increasing protectionism and geopolitical uncertainty New Zealand is seeing at the moment means we’re becoming more vulnerable to our reliance on global markets.

“Free trade is more critical than ever to our continued prosperity, so this agreement is another big win for New Zealand, following the commencement of the NZ-UK FTA in May.

“Our manufacturing sector for example, which supports the employment of 36,000 people in Canterbury and contributes more than $4.2 billion to our regional economy, is set to see immediate benefits from the agreement, with 99.9% of tariffs being removed immediately after commencement meaning savings of $9.1 million per year for manufactured products entering the EU.

“With the agreement cutting red tape and levelling the playing field for businesses who export to the EU, we hope that Canterbury’s small and medium-sized businesses can better access their part of the $1.4 billion in additional GDP the agreement is predicted to bring to New Zealand by 2035.

“While we wanted to see better outcomes for our red meat and dairy sectors, we also recognise that there are several countries in the EU who have very protectionist agendas, so a signed deal is better than no deal and gives us a seat at the table to continue discussions.”

Glenn Baker

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


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