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Taiwan Finalises World Trade Organisation Entry

19 September 2001

Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organisation could save New Zealand exporters more than $50 million a year, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations in Geneva on Taiwan's accession to the World Trade Organisation. As with China, Taiwan's entry into the WTO will bind it into WTO disciplines and the rules-based trading system.

"In October 1997, New Zealand secured a bilateral WTO agreement with Taiwan and already enjoys some concessions with apples, peaches, plums and beef which took immediate effect."

"When Taiwan joins the WTO, the removal of quota restraints and significant tariff reductions for these and other products will enable New Zealand exporters to develop their full potential in the Taiwanese market. It will also open up opportunities for products previously banned altogether such as persimmons and nashi pears."

Key benefits for New Zealand include: · tariff reductions amounting to $55.4 million per year in duties saved on New Zealand exports; · a cut in tariff levels on processed dairy products from 10-35 per cent to 5-15 percent, and tariff quota access for liquid milk, a previously banned import; · a sizeable tariff reduction on beef (from NT$20/24 to NT$10 per kilo by 2004) along with a phase-out of the preferential US tariff; · phased-out import bans on fisheries products and improved access on industrial exports such as forest and paper products with tariff cuts of between 50%-100%; and · a commitment to implement WTO disciplines on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) which will help to resolve a range of SPS issues currently constraining New Zealand primary sector exports into Taiwan.

Mr Sutton said that Taiwan's levels of access for overseas service providers would also be improved, bringing benefits to our education and tourism sectors in particular.

Taiwan is currently New Zealand's ninth largest trading partner.

Ends

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