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NZ joins initiative for free trade in environmental good

New Zealand joins global initiative for free trade in environmental goods

Trade and Climate Change Minister Tim Groser has welcomed the formal launch of international negotiations on the liberalisation of environmental goods.

The negotiations were launched overnight by a group of members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“New Zealand is very pleased to be a part of this new initiative,” says Mr Groser.

"Eliminating tariffs on goods that contribute to the protection of our environment is one of the most immediate and concrete contributions the WTO and its members can make to protect the environment and address climate change.”

The initiative brings together 14 WTO members who collectively account for 86 percent of global trade in environmental goods. It will involve many of the world's largest economies, including the United States, China, the European Union, and Japan. The negotiations will be open to any WTO member committed to liberalisation and ambition in promoting free trade in environmental goods.

“An ambitious outcome will also enable Kiwi businesses and innovators to benefit from improved access to a wide range of international markets for environmental goods. This includes some markets in which New Zealand does not have a free trade agreement," says Mr Groser.

“The environmental goods initiative is just one example of the priority this Government places on reducing barriers to exporting, through the Business Growth Agenda.”

The negotiations will seek to build on the 2012 APEC Leaders’ commitment to reduce tariffs on 54 environmental goods. The APEC commitment included several key New Zealand exports in this sector: recycling systems, waste water management products and environmental monitoring and assessment equipment.

The launch participants are Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and the United States.

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