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Business Forum welcomes process towards NZ/EU FTA

26 March 2014

Business Forum welcomes process towards NZ/EU FTA

The New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) is pleased that New Zealand and the European Union (EU) will explore further the concept of a free trade agreement (FTA).

“New Zealand has important interests in the EU and we have for some time seen the need for a stronger framework for our significant trade and economic relationship,” said NZIBF Chairman Sir Graeme Harrison.

Taken together the 28 EU member states are New Zealand’s third largest trading partner and a single market of over 500 million consumers.

Sir Graeme said that there were opportunities to expand business in agriculture and food as well as technology; services including tourism and education; niche manufacturing; research and investment.

“As the EU negotiates FTAs with other partners around the world New Zealand also runs the risk of being cut out from future growth in the market arising from the EU’s improving economy.”

Sir Graeme congratulated the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the EU Council and Commission on their announcement from Brussels, noting this was the logical next step from negotiating a new political framework agreement with the EU.

About NZIBF (www.nzibf.co.nz)
NZIBF is a business organisation which aims to generate wealth for New Zealanders by helping ensure that New Zealand enterprises are fully integrated and engaged in the global economy and New Zealand’s global competitive position is maximised. NZIBF participants represent companies and sectors with a turnover of over $20 billion.

About New Zealand’s trade and economic relationship with the EU (http://www.nzibf.co.nz/index.asp?pageID=2145856141)
The EU encompasses 28 members and a single market of over 500 million people. The EU is one of the heavyweights of the global economy - the world’s largest exporter, importer, source and market for foreign investment. Main exports include sheep meat, kiwifruit, wine, apples, seafood and butter. The EU is an important source of inward investment, technology, immigration and tourism.

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