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Early and obvious benefits from NZ/Thailand CEP

Early and obvious benefits from NZ/Thailand CEP

The obvious benefits to New Zealand from the Closer Economic Partnership agreement just signed with Thailand should swing our way from day one of the agreement coming into force, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

Gains will be evident from that July 1st date next year in reductions to tariffs on exports to Thailand of fruit and vegetables, with the introduction of multi entry business visas, and work permits becoming available for Kiwis doing business in Thailand.

“Over time we’ll see the elimination of what are very high tariffs in many instances,” said Bruce Goldsworthy, EMA’s Manager of Advocacy Services.

“Importantly for New Zealand, the second phase of tariff reductions scheduled for January 1st will align us with the free trade agreement that Thailand and Australia already have in place.

“This catch up represents a particularly satisfying outcome; we congratulate the officials and ministers concerned in achieving it.

“In fact our officials appear to have picked up and dealt with all major issues and concerns put to them by business – the negotiation process undertaken was commendable.

“It has led to a new CEP which will be seen as a milestone in our international trade relationships for its comprehensive and robust nature.

“Technical issues such as those covering rules of origin, and how trade remedies are to apply meet business requirements and expectations.

“Perhaps the single disappointment is that it has had to follow the long tariff and quota phase out periods for agricultural products adopted for the Thailand – Australia Free Trade Arrangement that concluded earlier this year.”

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