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Business Forum Welcomes NZ UK FTA Negotiation

The NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) is delighted that New Zealand and the United Kingdom have launched a negotiation to conclude an ambitious, high quality and comprehensive free trade agreement.

“Now that the UK is completing the final steps for leaving the European Union, there is an opportunity to take this long-standing and valuable relationship to a new, 21st century level, says NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

“The UK is not only a key market for sheepmeat, wine, apples and honey, and with untapped potential for dairy and beef, the British are world leaders in services trade, in the tech sector and in the creative economy, and there are some exciting potential synergies there. The UK also offers a high-value market for sophisticated niche manufactured products such as agri-tech and medical devices”.

Mr Jacobi said he expected the FTA would eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, especially in the agri-food area and in services trade, and open up new investment and areas for strategic co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This FTA can help position the UK as a leader of global trade liberalisation. The UK would be a welcome member of arrangements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTTP), the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) and the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS).

“Much will depend however on the economic policies and regulatory settings the UK adopts on leaving the EU. We urge our British friends to embrace openness and global connectivity which has proved so successful for economies like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Chile. We are keen to welcome the UK into this new partnership”, concluded Mr Jacobi.

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