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EU and New Zealand launch trade negotiations

EU and New Zealand launch trade negotiations

Wellington, 21 June 2018
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12.30PM 21 JUNE 2018

EU and New Zealand launch trade negotiations

Today, in the New Zealand capital of Wellington, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker officially launched negotiations today for a comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement.

The negotiations will aim at removing barriers to trade in goods and services, as well as developing trade rules to make trade easier and more sustainable.

Today's announcement follows on the footsteps of the launch of negotiations with Australia earlier this week. It also comes soon after the conclusion of negotiations with Mexico, the finalisation of the agreements with Japan and Singapore, and the EU-Canada agreement, which entered into force in September last year.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "Today is an important milestone in EU-New Zealand relations. Together, we can conclude a win-win agreement that offers benefits to business and citizens alike. Trade agreements are about economic opportunities, but they are also about strengthening ties with our close allies. In New Zealand, we know that we have a partner who stands up for the same vital values as us. This agreement will also be an excellent opportunity to set ambitious new rules. This agreement is an excellent opportunity to set ambitious common rules and shape globalisation, making trade easier while safeguarding sustainable development. We can lead by example."

The first formal round of negotiations between the respective sides' teams of negotiators will take place in Brussels from 16 to 20 July.

Whilst in New Zealand Commissioner Malmström will also meet with Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters, as well as with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

Later today, she will hold the public 'Europa' lecture inside the New Zealand Parliament.

During her visit, Commissioner Malmström will also meet with the Ministers for Primary Industries and Climate Change as well as with representatives of civil society, academia and business. On Friday of this week, she is visiting an innovation hub with companies with ties to the EU.

Bilateral trade in goods between the EU and New Zealand stood at €8.7bn last year. The sectors which make up the bulk of EU exports to New Zealand are manufactured goods like transport equipment, and machinery and appliances, as well as chemicals, plastics, food, and services. In addition, a further €4.4 billion is exchanged in services (2016).

The EU is New Zealand's third biggest trade partner and the agreement could increase overall trade in goods by almost 50%, or by one third if both goods and services are considered.

New Zealand is one of the world's fastest-growing developed economies. It recently negotiated the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 10 other countries in the Pacific region. The agreement between the EU and New Zealand will make sure that European companies can compete on a level playing field with businesses from countries with which New Zealand already has trade agreements.

Background
On 22 May 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted the decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and New Zealand.
In 2017 the EU and New Zealand entered into a partnership agreement which contains a number of economic and trade cooperation rules.
For More Information
Video and photos from the visit, including the press conference, are available on Europe by Satellite.
There is a dedicated website on EU-New Zealand negotiations where factsheets, statistics and exporters' stories are located.
ENDS

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