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China FTA – Mutual Recognition Agreement key

Media Release 8 April 2008.

China FTA – Mutual Recognition Agreement a key component.

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) says that New Zealand looks to be in a better position having signed the FTA with China, but just how much better off remains to be seen.

The Association has welcomed the agreement as a step towards a better trade balance with China, but says that the long term success has got to be considered against the growing trade imbalances between China and New Zealand and how the deal is implemented.

“New Zealand’s trade deficit with China expanded from NZD 1.4 billion in June 2004 to NZD 3.4 billion in June 2007. It will take a lot of work to close this gap in the years ahead”, says Chief Executive John Walley.

“New Zealand companies will have to maximise their market position in China and work hard to secure their own local markets because pressure from imports will increase. It further highlights the importance of the quality of goods against quantity”.

Mr. Walley says that the key component to the deal from a manufacture and export of manufactured goods point of view is how the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) is implemented.

“Since our first discussion with MFAT in July 2004, this Association pressed hard for an MRA and we are pleased to see what appears to be a workable MRA in the trade deal”.

“If the MRA plays out well in practice, it will help market access and if the dispute settlement mechanism works, it should help in cases of unfair trading”, says Mr. Walley.

“Given the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) can be applied by certified laboratories here in New Zealand, our companies should not have to endure bureaucratic costs and delays of the past getting products certified for the Chinese market”.

“New Zealand appears to be in a better position having signed the trade agreement and there will be greater opportunity for our firms to export into such a vast market, yet the extent to which the deal pays dividends comes down to the devil in the details of the implementation”.


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