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Free trade with EU urged

Media release

16 September 2015

Free trade with EU urged

International trade between New Zealand and the European Union should be freed up, says BusinessNZ.

Tonight BusinessNZ hosts the launch of a trade discussion paper, with the European Union Charge d’Affaires and Heads of Mission and the NZ International Business Forum, on the prospects for a free trade agreement between the EU and New Zealand.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the lack of a free trade agreement means New Zealand faces tariffs on all major exports to the EU, and also means the new realities of two-way trade, with increasing focus on manufactured and high technology goods, are not taken into account.

Many products from other countries gain preferential access to the EU, because free trade agreements have been negotiated with those countries.

“The need for freer trade with the EU is critical,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“The EU also faces non-tariff barriers when seeking to export to New Zealand. Both markets would benefit significantly from a new agreement.

“We would urge the New Zealand and European Union governments to enter into negotiations as a matter of priority.”

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