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NZIBF Welcomes The Start Of Comprehensive Trade Negotiations With The UAE

The NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) welcomes the start of formal negotiations on the New Zealand/UAE Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and looks forward to steady progress that will lead to the securing of a comprehensive and modern agreement between the two economies.

“Reducing trade barriers with the UAE through the proposed CEPA and increasing awareness of commercial opportunities will generate new business both bilaterally and potentially into the wider market of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), which is where a greater prize can be achieved,” said NZIBF Chair Philip Gregan.

“We believe there is potential to grow New Zealand exports to the UAE in the dairy, red meat, seafood, horticulture, high value foods and agritech sectors, and likewise create new opportunities for UAE goods, services and investment in our market”, Mr Gregan added.

“NZIBF believes that the goal of the CEPA should be a high-quality, ambitious and comprehensive agreement with a commitment to eliminate all barriers, including tariffs and non-tariff barriers, in all goods and services sectors within an expeditious deadline.

“The negotiating agenda should encompass all issues of relevance to both sides, including market access for goods and services and related provisions, investment, digital and paperless trade, competition policy, intellectual property, government procurement, labour and environment issues and additional elements around ensuring that trade is both sustainable and inclusive. As in other agreements, the right of governments to regulate for legitimate public policy reasons, and the ability of the New Zealand Government to meet the Crown’s obligations to Māori, should be preserved.

“NZIBF recommends that the New Zealand Government pursue a substantive and advantageous outcome to the negotiations as quickly as possible, aiming towards a prompt conclusion to the negotiating process,” concluded Mr Gregan.

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