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China's CPTPP Application Welcome Says Business Forum

China’s formal application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a welcome expression of its interest in further trade reform, says Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF).

“Trade agreements like CPTPP are about the spread of effective and up to date trade rules in the Asia Pacific region as well as globally. We welcome China’s interest to join CPTPP which is one of the world’s most advanced and high quality free trade agreements. CPTPP clearly provides for the accession of new members who can demonstrate they can meet its high standards and is a pathway towards a future Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP)”, said Stephen Jacobi.

New Zealand and China already have a high quality trade agreement which has recently been upgraded. New Zealand and China are also cosignatories of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“When the remaining dairy safeguard tariffs are completely withdrawn from 1 January 2024, New Zealand will enjoy very favourable market access into our largest trading partner. China is therefore well placed to meet New Zealand’s expectations for the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers. For the CPTPP bid to be successful, China will need to demonstrate its ability to meet the high standards of other aspects of the Agreement, including in relation to competitive neutrality for state owned enterprises. This is the same standard that applies to all CPTPP aspirants and China’s application should be considered in the same way”, said Mr Jacobi.

“We urge the New Zealand Government and other CPTPP partners to engage with the Chinese authorities to deepen their understanding of CPTPP’s provisions and obligations”, concluded Mr Jacobi.

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