An upgrade to New Zealand’s free trade agreement with China is an important step for the ongoing relationship with our largest trading partner, ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard says.
At a time of global economic disruption due to Covid-19, the upgraded FTA, which comes after eight years and 30 rounds of negotiations, will be met with a sigh of relief by some exporters, she believes.
“China has been one of New Zealand’s most valuable trading relationships, with two-way goods and services trade exceeding $32 billion a year.”
The new upgraded agreement was finally signed virtually on January 26th, more than a year after the deal was first agreed to.
The new rules will make exporting to China easier and reduce compliance costs for New Zealand exports, Ms Beard says. “This will bring huge benefits to our exporters of perishable goods like seafood, dairy, the forestry sector and other primary sector industries.”
She says the upgrade will also mean 99 percent of New Zealand’s nearly $3 billion wood and paper trade to China will have tariff-free access.
New Zealand currently has a trade surplus with China – exporting $19.4 billion worth of goods and services to the country, and importing $13 billion in goods.