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Taiwan-NZ trade agreement to take force

Taiwan-NZ trade agreement to take force

An economic cooperation agreement concluded between Taiwan and New Zealand four months ago will enter into force Dec. 1, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs Nov. 20.

The Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC)—signed July 10 in Wellington—is Taiwan’s first free trade pact with a nondiplomatic ally.

“The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei have completed their respective processes,” MOEA Deputy Minister Liang Kuo-hsin said.

“All relevant government agencies will ensure effective implementation of the pact and maximize its effects,” he said, adding that the government is drafting more policies facilitating greater economic integration for Taiwan.

The ANZTEC represents a milestone in government policymaking efforts aimed at building up Taiwan while linking with the Asia-Pacific region and creating a global presence, according to the MOEA.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, tariffs will be removed on 95.2 percent of imports from New Zealand, while those on the remaining items, excluding rice, will be cut to zero over a period of 12 years. Tariffs on all Taiwan exports to New Zealand will be eliminated, except those on 29 industrial products set to be reduced to zero over a four-year period.

The latest Taiwan government statistics revealed that trade between Taiwan and New Zealand hit US$1.21 billion in 2012, up 4.21 percent from the year before. New Zealand enjoys a trade surplus of US$168 million with Taiwan.

An MOEA-commissioned study forecasts the pact to boost Taiwan’s gross domestic product by US$303 million and create 6,255 jobs in 12 years, with industrial output gaining NT$35.63 billion (US$1.21 billion).

Separately, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it expects the ANZTEC to generate greater economic benefits for both countries and further cement bilateral ties across the board.

As New Zealand is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the MOFA also anticipates the agreement creating favorable conditions for Taiwan’s membership of these trade blocs and other pacts with major trading partners.

ENDS

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