Trade Minister Todd McClay will visit the State of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to press for a conclusion to the free trade negotiations between New Zealand and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
During his visit to the Middle East, which begins tomorrow, Mr McClay will meet bilaterally with ministerial counterparts and business leaders, including the UAE Minister of Economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoor and Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce, Khalid Nasser Al Roudhan.
“This is my third visit to the region since becoming Trade Minister and it is important that we continue to lobby for the conclusion of the agreement. Progress on a GCC FTA will offer greater opportunity for New Zealand companies in this highly competitive market,” Mr McClay says.
The GCC, which comprises six member states, is New Zealand’s eighth largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade exceeding $3.5 billion.
On the 19-20 of January Mr McClay will then travel to Switzerland to attend a meeting of key WTO Trade Ministers where he will discuss developments in the multilateral trading system and prospects for progress ahead of the 11th WTO Ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires.
“This meeting is an important opportunity to discuss with key players in the WTO how we can work together to achieve a successful outcome at the 11th WTO Ministerial meeting later this year,” Mr McClay says.
More local businesses looking to expand into Korea will benefit from the latest round of tariff reductions under the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Trade Minister Todd McClay says.
The start of 2017 saw two thirds of New Zealand’s exports to Korea become duty free, up from 46 per cent in 2016.
“Thanks to this continued progress under the FTA, even more New Zealand businesses can compete favourably in the Korean market,” Mr McClay says.
New Zealand and Korea celebrated the first anniversary of the agreement in December 2016. Since the FTA’s entry into force in December 2015, New Zealand has experienced strong results particularly in the food and beverage sector where exports to Korea have increased by over 16%.
“Korea is New Zealand’s 6th largest goods export market, worth NZ$1.5 billion in the year ending September 2016, but this isn’t just about productive businesses wanting to sell into Korea,” Mr McClay says.
“The FTA also gives New Zealand consumers better access to high quality Korean goods like electronics, cars and machinery.”
Fifteen years after the FTA’s entry into force, 97.8 per cent of New Zealand’s total current exports to Korea will enter duty and quota free.
“New Zealanders are benefiting from the Government’s positive, outward looking relationship with our global partners, and this includes constantly progressing more Free Trade Agreements,” Mr McClay says.
“Tomorrow I will accompany the Prime Minister’s delegation to Brussels and look forward to discussing further trade opportunities with the European Union with my Ministerial counterparts.”
Mr McClay will meet with European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Christian Cardona, Malta’s Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business. Malta currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Further Information on trade progress with Korea:
- Meat, dairy, fruit and seafood exports have all enjoyed growth of over 20 per cent.
- The value of New Zealand’s Kiwifruit exports to Korea grew nearly twenty per cent in 2016 with further progress expected as the 30 per cent tariff on Kiwifruit has now reduced to 22.5 per cent (half of what exporters were paying before the FTA).
- While New Zealand is ranked as Korea’s 10th-largest wine importer, we are emerging as a source of high quality wine among early adopters in the market. The NZ$2.7 million in New Zealand wine sales to Korea in 2015 represented an 18 per cent increase from a year earlier. Following the removal of tariffs at the end of 2015, New Zealand wine exports increased a further 29 per cent in the first half of 2016 compared to a year earlier.
- Exports of processed deer velvet have also increased by over 80 per cent.
- From 1 January 2017, the list of products that can be exported duty free will expand to include products such as frozen fish fillets, prepared or preserved frozen potatoes, asparagus, methanol, and skin care cosmetics.
Trade Minister Todd McClay today welcomed the World Trade Organization's (WTO) decision upholding New Zealand's challenge to 18 agricultural non-tariff barriers imposed by Indonesia.Read more