Trade Minister Todd McClay has announced the formation of a Ministerial Advisory Group on trade to ensure the public is better informed on trade issues.
The Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG), part of today’s Trade Agenda 2030 announcement, includes representation from iwi, unions and NGOs, as well as industry bodies for primary industry, wood, tourism, education, horticulture, aviation and technology.
“Trade is of vital importance to New Zealand, helping support jobs and incomes and our growing economy, and we all have a stake in our trading future,” Mr McClay says.
“With the Government today renewing its commitment to free trade and forging new trade ties, it is important we take New Zealand with us – the MAG will help ensure that.
“It will allow the Government to consult with a wide array of stakeholders on trade issues, and ensure they have their say. The MAG will have the opportunity to provide feedback directly to me on developments in the trade agenda and will help to identify issues of importance.”
The MAG was identified as a key priority following public meetings in 2016 which were held to allow the public to have its say on the new trade agenda.
“I am very pleased with the quality of the MAG membership and look forward to working constructively with them to advance important trade issues,” Mr McClay says.
More information can be found at www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeagenda2030.
Federated Farmers President - William Rolleston Beef and Lamb Chair James Parsons Meat Industry Association CEO Tim Ritchie DCANZ Chair Malcom Bailey Horticulture NZ CEO Mike Chapman Pipfruit NZ Chair Nadine Tunley NZ Winegrowers CEO Phillip Gregan Seafood NZ CEO Tim Pankhurst Wood Council of New Zealand Chair Brian Stanley Tourism Industry Association CEO Chris Roberts Maori Tourism NZ Chair Pania Tyson-Nathan Aviation Industry Association CEO John Nicholson NZ Tech CEO Graeme Muller Universities New Zealand Chair Prof. Stuart McCutcheon NZ Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics Chair Charles Finny Business NZ CEO Kirk Hope Export NZ CEO Catherine Beard IBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi Federation of Māori Authorities Chair Tracy Houpapa Iwi Leaders Forum Chair Ngahiwi Tomoana (Ngāti Kahungunu) Oxfam Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier WWF Chair Dr Morgan Williams Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff
Trade Minister Todd McClay says a new all-of-government approach to tackling non-tariff barriers (NTBs) imposed on our exporters will deliver real benefits to business.
The Clearing House, announced as part of Trade Agenda 2030 today, ensures that New Zealand exporters will be able to access the best information and support on trade barriers in a single place.
“We know non-tariff barriers can impose significant delays and costs on New Zealand exporters, making them less competitive, so the quicker we learn about and act on them, the better,” Mr McClay says.
Mr McClay says that MFAT had been trialling a Clearing House concept with NZTE for the NTBs that businesses raise with them.
“As part of this, we have set targets for NTB enquiries to be followed up within 48 hours,” Mr McClay says
"It is now time to make this service available to all exporters he said. We will be creating an online portal for businesses who have NTB concerns to more easily access vital information and interact with government agencies,”
As well as a centralised online point of contact for exporters, the Clearing House will:Make it easier for exporters to report issues, seek government advice and assistance with NTBs and other export issues. Track and trace the assignment and resolution issues across agencies on behalf of the exporter. Provide the Government with an accurate and up-to-date understanding of NTB and other export issues facing exporters. Enable the collection and interpretation of data regarding the NTB and other export issues Ensure NTB enquiries are dealt with in a timely fashion
The Clearing House and online portal will be jointly developed by developed by Customs, MFAT, MPI, MBIE, and NZTE, and is to be funded from baselines.
More information can be found at www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeagenda2030.
Trade Minister Todd McClay says an additional $27 million will be invested in improving access to international markets for New Zealand exporters and to help more of them succeed internationally.
The funding, announced as part of the launch of Trade Agenda 2030 today, will be made available over the next four years as part of Budget 2017.
“This funding will ensure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade can more effectively improve market access for New Zealand exporters and to help those businesses make the most of our extensive and increasing trade networks,” Mr McClay says.
“Trade is critical to New Zealand’s prosperity and success. It translates to more business and job opportunities for New Zealanders.
“We need to encourage more businesses to grow and sell their goods and services by making it easier for them to do so in as many markets as possible.”
The funding will increase the resources available to the work being done in the Asia-Pacific region which takes more than 70 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. Additional resource will be allocated to other regions and allow for diversification of our trade relationships.
The funding will accelerate the implementation of existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), support an increased FTA negotiation workload, and increase business engagement and support.
Investment will also be made in our international networks across the globe and boost the availability of consular services for Kiwis overseas.
“This Government remains committed to creating new trade opportunities and maximising the benefits from existing opportunities, the new funding helps achieve this,” Mr McClay says.
More information can be found at www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeagenda2030.
Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed the announcement by Pacific Alliance Ministers that they will look to progressively advance their trade agenda and says this is likely to provide significant opportunity for New Zealand exporters.
The Pacific Alliance will offer Associate Membership of the alliance as a precursor to trade negotiations with selected countries.
Mr McClay met formally with Pacific Alliance Ministers in Chile yesterday to pitch a trade deal between New Zealand and the Alliance.
"I have welcomed the Alliance announcement as a significant development, and expect New Zealand to be one of the first countries to start negotiations with the trading bloc.
"The prospect of a high quality and comprehensive trade deal for New Zealand with the Pacific Alliance has now increased significantly," Mr McClay said.
"We have been in dialogue with the Pacific Alliance for around two years and I am delighted that we can now see our way clear to taking a next step with these countries.
"This is a significant development for New Zealand trade policy and one which we intend to take up quickly. Only through the government levelling the playing field for kiwi businesses through better access to new and exciting markets will our economy continue to grow, offering opportunity to all regions in New Zealand," Mr McClay said. Editors note: the Pacific Alliance includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. It has 49 observer countries, a combined population of 206 million and GDP of US$3,572 billion.
Viña del Mar, Chile - High Level Representatives from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, and Singapore and Vietnam met here today to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the margins of the High Level Dialogue on Integration Initiatives for the Asia Pacific.
The participating partners reiterated their firm commitment to collaborate in keeping markets open and to the free flow of goods, services and investment advancing regional economic integration and strengthening the rules-based international trading system noting our concern with protectionism in many parts of the world.
They recalled the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic significance of the TPP highlighting its principles and high standards as a key driver for regional economic integration and promoter of economic growth, competition, innovation and productivity, with the potential of generating jobs and lowering costs for consumers.
The high level representatives exchanged views on their respective domestic processes regarding TPP and canvassed views on a way forward that would advance economic integration in the Asia-Pacific.
Senior Trade Officials will meet and consult in preparation for the Ministers to meet again in the margins of the APEC meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade on 20-21 May 2017.
Trade Minister Todd McClay travels from London to Chile today for the first combined meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries following the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement.
“I welcome the opportunity to sit down with other TPP ministers, to take stock of current developments and to look at how we might move this important agreement forward together,” Mr McClay says.
Mr McClay says he believed the TPP Agreement continued to offer value as a common set of rules across the Asia-Pacific region.
"I have recently visited Australia, Japan, Singapore and Mexico, met with ministers from Brunei and Malaysia and talked directly with trade ministers from all other TPP countries. It is clear our partners remain committed to the benefits high quality trade agreements provide," Mr McClay says.
The meeting comes following strong public encouragement from New Zealand’s largest exporters for the Government to pursue a deal with the other 10 countries.
While in Viña del Mar at the High Level Dialogue on Integration Initiatives for the Asia-Pacific, Mr McClay will also meet with members of the Pacific Alliance and a number of other Asia-Pacific countries discuss regional trade issues.
“High quality regional trade deals are key drivers of economic development and job growth. The Government will continue to fight for a fairer deal for kiwi exporters and to push for better access for our goods and services around the world,” Mr McClay says.
Trade Minister Todd McClay met International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox and Minister for Trade Policy Lord Price today to reaffirm their joint commitment to global trade liberalisation, and lay the foundations for the future trade relationship between the UK and New Zealand.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox asserted the importance the UK places on its trading relationship with New Zealand, with total trade in goods and services between the two countries increasing by 13 per cent between 2014-15.
The ministers welcomed progress made during the inaugural Trade Policy Dialogue meeting earlier this month.
“Our dialogue will enable us to build on our existing trading framework, towards an agreement in the future,” Mr McClay says.
“Through the dialogue we will continue to push for greater global trade liberalisation and reform, share expertise, and identify ways to strengthen our trading relationship.”
Minister McClay also welcomed the UK’s ongoing commitment to be a champion of global free trade. Secretary Fox confirmed his intention to visit New Zealand in the coming months.
“During that visit we will hold a joint public event to highlight the importance and benefits of open markets to our citizens at a time when the global economy is facing a period of uncertainty”, Mr McClay says.
The Secretary of State confirmed that the UK would remain fully supportive of the New Zealand-EU FTA as long as it remained a member of the European Union, and that he was very pleased that the scoping phase had been finalised.
Trade Minister Todd McClay and European Union Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmström have agreed the completion of joint scoping discussions towards an EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) following a meeting in Brussels today.
After almost 2 years of discussion, reaching this significant milestone means the FTA process now enters a new phase, where the Commission and New Zealand will seek respective mandates to commence negotiations.
"Today’s meeting was an important demonstration of our commitment to launch negotiations as soon as possible in 2017," Mr McClay says.
“New Zealand and the EU both recognise there are substantial benefits to be gained from free trade, and we are now one step closer to a high-quality, comprehensive FTA that can deliver great outcomes for our citizens.”
Mr McClay and Commissioner Malmström also agreed that officials should look at ways to engage the public on trade issues. Mr McClay said the EU undertakes a number of trade events during negotiations which might suit New Zealand.
"With this in mind, I have invited Commissioner Malmström to visit New Zealand later this year. The Commissioner has accepted this invitation," Mr McClay says.
Trade Minister Todd McClay will travel to Brussels for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with the European Union (EU) this weekend and will then go on to London for a meeting of Commonwealth Trade Ministers.
“The simple aim of my visit to Brussels is to meaningfully advance efforts to commence our FTA negotiations with the EU,” Mr McClay says.
“The EU is our third largest trading partner with annual two-trade closing in on $21 billion. It is immensely important that we continue to fight on behalf of our exporters for improved access and reduced tariffs.”
In London, Mr McClay will look to progress discussion on ways the Commonwealth can expand trade between members. He will also chair a roundtable discussion with his ministerial counterparts before meeting bilaterally with British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox.
“This is an excellent chance to discuss the direct trade opportunities that arise for New Zealand in a post-Brexit environment,” Mr McClay says.
“New Zealand is a trading nation, trade liberalisation and fair access to markets are essential for the continued growth and stability of our economy.”
Trade Minister Todd McClay will visit Japan and Singapore this week to discuss regional trade issues with his ministerial counterparts.
During his visit to Japan, which is the first stop, Mr McClay will meet with the Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Nobuteru Ishihara.
“Japan is New Zealand’s fifth largest two-way trading partner, a significant source of foreign investment, and a key international partner in our efforts to liberalise trade in the Asia-Pacific region,” Minister McClay says.
“We need to sit down and discuss the future of trade between our two countries and how we can best support regional economic integration and trade liberalisation.”
In Singapore, Mr McClay will meet with Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang.
“Given both Japan and Singapore are Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signatories, I will take the opportunity to exchange views on the United States’ recent withdrawal from its TPP ratification process.
Minister McClay will also visit Mexico for trade discussions next week.