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NZ/EU FTA A Bonus For Some Sectors – Business Forum

The NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) acknowledges the passage of the implementing legislation for the New Zealand/European Union Free Trade Agreement and looks forward to the FTA’s entry into force on 1 May.

“This agreement was difficult to negotiate. It offers differing benefits for different sectors”, said NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

“The FTA will open up the European market to a number of key export industries especially horticulture, seafood, wine, honey, manufacturing and some services. For those sectors provided with immediate tariff relief, the agreement will be very useful. The earlier than expected entry into force is a bonus for those horticultural sectors especially kiwifruit and apples, whose season’s shipments are about to arrive in Europe. Other sectors, such as dairy and meat, will be looking at whether there are potential commercial opportunities as a result of the limited amount of additional access”.

Mr Jacobi said it was hoped the FTA’s market access outcomes for dairy and beef could be improved over time.

“Beyond exports, the FTA should lead to increased EU investment into New Zealand. The separate agreement to extend the application of the EU Horizon Fund to New Zealand should also increase scientific co-operation and EU investment and collaboration in research and development. This is all very positive for the economy at a difficult time.”

Mr Jacobi said concerns remain about the implementation regime for geographical indications (GIs) for cheese and wine.

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“GIs is an area where New Zealand has had to change current practices. The enforcement regime as proposed seems to go further than necessary in meeting the requirements of the FTA. We hope this can be addressed as arrangements are implemented”.

“We congratulate those who have worked hard to bring the FTA into force. Our attention will now turn to making this agreement work”, concluded Mr Jacobi.

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