A recent survey of exporters has shown the time is right to enhance current free trade agreements with China and ASEAN partner countries.
In the recently announced results of the ExportNZ survey, the ASEAN market was most mentioned as the next market to enter, followed by China.
“We have good free trade agreements with both China and ASEAN, but now is clearly the time to start enhancing those agreements with ways to remove barriers to New Zealand exporters,” says Kim Campbell, CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).
“The barriers posed by registration systems, approval systems and over regulation within some markets should be the focus of the next round of negotiations.
“There are international standards that could become the basis of acceptance of many goods, and mutual recognition of standards and regulatory controls is another way to allow New Zealand manufactured goods to enter China and ASEAN countries.
“We already do this with most goods between ourselves and Australia, so the opportunity to enhance market access in the same way with other export markets is a model we are familiar with.”
With ASEAN due for review this year, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) being negotiated this is a timely reminder of the focus of our exporters, says Mr Campbell. RECEP includes the 10 ASEAN member countries and six other countries with free trade agreements with ASEAN, which are Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
The full results of the ExportNZ survey are available here.