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Thai trade agreement good for NZ manufacturing

Thai trade agreement good for NZ manufacturing

The trade agreement with Thailand announced today is good news, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly says the benefits are largely in line with what Australia has secured with Thailand, and the deal means New Zealand will catch up with Australia's programme by 2006.

"Business dealings will be facilitated by multiple entry visas without the need for a work permit, the lifting of regional restrictions on where New Zealand companies in Thailand can operate, and there will be fewer investment or foreign directorship limits on New Zealand companies investing in the manufacturing sector in Thailand.

"Thailand is currently very tariff-protected; the agreement will allow more access by New Zealand goods to that market, with a total phase-out of tariffs by both countries over the next 25 years, [note: NZ tarifprotected by anti-dumping safeguards.

"The Rules of Origin that apply to manufactured goods with imported components will also get more sensible, changing from a prescriptive 'percentage' regime, to a definition relating to whether the goods have been 'substantially transformed' in the exporting country. This removes much of the discrimination against manufacturers who increasingly source their components globally.

"New Zealand manufacturing has been well served by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade," Mr O'Reilly said.

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