Trade Minister Todd McClay says the OECD Trade and Economic Ministers Council Meeting in Paris this week will be an important opportunity for New Zealand to show continued leadership on trade liberalisation.
Mr McClay leaves today for the two-day event where he will meet with ministers from over 40 countries.
“The theme of this year’s meeting is ‘Making Globalisation Work’ and it fits well with the priorities outlined in Trade Agenda 2030, the Government’s new trade strategy,” Mr McClay says.
“Those priorities include wanting all New Zealanders to share in the economic benefits of trade. Protectionism stops this from happening, making it more difficult for Kiwis to compete internationally.
“It’s simple - more trade means more jobs for New Zealanders and a more prosperous standard of living. That’s why the Government continues to fight hard for better access to overseas markets for our goods and services.”
While in Paris, Mr McClay will meet bilaterally with a number of other trade ministers including European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. Mr McClay expects to also hold talks with newly appointed US Trade Representative Ambassador Lighthizer, prior to a visit to Washington later this month.
“I will be pushing hard for the start of trade negotiations with the EU when I meet with Commissioner Malmström. We've made good progress, but it's important we launch negotiations with Europe this year to level the playing field for Kiwi exporters,” Mr McClay says.
Trade Minister Todd McClay has announced a series of trade-related public, iwi and business events signalling greater public engagement to help New Zealanders identify new opportunities and benefits from trade agreements.
Public meetings are planned around the country in June and July on New Zealand’s full trade negotiation agenda, including the NZ-China FTA upgrade, the prospective NZ-European Union FTA, Brexit, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Pacific Islands FTA – Pacer Plus, as well as discussions with the Pacific Alliance and countries of Mercosur.
“Trade is important to every region of the country and the jobs of more than six hundred thousand New Zealanders are linked to our export sectors,” Mr McClay says.
“It is important the public can talk about their priorities with our trade experts and discuss why we fight so hard for greater fairness in important overseas export markets.”
The first discussion will focus on the recently concluded Pacer Plus agreement between 12 Pacific Island countries, Australia and New Zealand will be held this week with the Council of International Development at Oxfam’s Auckland office.
“The Government’s recently launched trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, sets out our commitment to building confidence in trade. Our economy relies upon good access to overseas markets and it’s important that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to share in the benefits of trade deals,” Mr McClay says.
The meetings follow significant engagement in 2016 on TPP, RCEP, EU FTA and Trade Agenda 2030.
“Through this extensive public process, we are better able to deliver outcomes that benefit our economy. I am pleased to continue this engagement and seek to help build greater understanding of the significant benefits available to all through high-quality trade agreements,” Mr McClay says.
“We want New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses to give their views. This feedback will help inform the Government’s approach to future negotiations.”
Information on the public meetings can be found at: www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeengagement
Trade Minister Todd McClay says the public release of the PACER Plus text will help highlight the important benefits of the landmark trade and development deal for New Zealand and the Pacific.
The release of the text, agreed to by all 14 countries, is consistent with a renewed commitment to improving engagement and transparency around trade issues and will be followed up with a public outreach programme in the coming months.
“The text shows how this carefully crafted trade and development agreement will help raise standards of living, create employment opportunities and increase export capacity in Pacific Island countries,” Mr McClay says.
“It outlines the $55 million development package and how PACER Plus will assist the sustainable growth of the Pacific economies through trade.”
“It also shows how New Zealand has secured lower tariffs on the vast majority of our traditional trade interests and how our exporters will save an estimated $20 million a year on tariffs once the agreement is fully in force.”
A range of factsheets will also be published the MFAT website and further supporting details will be updated, including dates and locations for the public meetings, as they are available.
“I encourage everyone to make the most of these sessions so that the full benefits of the agreement are realised, both for New Zealand and our region,” Mr McClay says.
“An important focus of Trade Agenda 2030, our new trade strategy, is for improved transparency and better engagement. Trade equals jobs and we want New Zealanders to better understand the close relationship trade has with our country’s economic growth.”
Link to text: www.mfat.govt.nz/pacer
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Trade Minister Todd McClay have welcomed appointments and reappointments to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Board (NZTE) and the New Zealand Story Board (NZ Story Board).
Carmel Fisher has been appointed to the NZTE Board and Robin Hapi has been reappointed.
“Carmel has a wealth of experience in the investment industry in New Zealand and I’m confident she will provide valuable insights and expertise to the Board. She is a seasoned investment professional with more than 30 years' experience in the New Zealand investment industry,” Mr Bridges says.
“Robin has been a strong contributor to the Board. With his recent appointment as Chair of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board he will bring a wealth of knowledge about opportunities for Māori economic development and engagement with Māori stakeholders,” Mr Bridges says.
"Under our ambitious new trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, the Government is committed to helping kiwi companies move from market access to market success," Mr McClay says.
"NZTE and NZ Story are important contributors to the continued success of our exporters in overseas market," Mr McClay says.
Cameron Harland has been appointed Chair to the NZ Story Board. Stephen Smith has been reappointed as a member.
“We’re pleased with the progress that continues to be made with NZ Story and note the importance of maintaining private sector expertise on the Board. We’re happy to be able to retain both Stephen Smith and Cameron Harland and confident they will continue to make strong contributions,” Mr Bridges says.
Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed a joint statement from the TPP 11 countries saying it shows unity between the 11 and important next steps for the agreement.
“This outcome was better than we might have hoped for. It demonstrates a commitment from all 11 countries to implement the agreement which is extremely valuable for New Zealand and sets a clear path to a meeting of leaders in November of this year,” Mr McClay says.
“TPP is a high-quality set of rules for the Asia-Pacific which will increase market access for our exporters and benefits our wider economy.”
The statement was unanimously agreed to by the 11 countries at a meeting which New Zealand co-chaired with Vietnam on the sidelines of APEC in Hanoi.
Senior officials will now meet later this year in Japan to assess options for bringing TPP11 into force expeditiously as well as looking at how to facilitate membership for the original signatories.
Ministers of the 11 TPP countries have asked for this work to be completed before they meet at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting on 10-11 November 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Mr McClay says that TPP11 represents tariff savings of $222 million each year. Japan’s National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies has estimated that TPP11 will increase New Zealand’s GDP by 3.4% and is worth an additional $2.5 billion to our economy after 10 years.
“TPP11 has both important strategic and economic value. It would ensure our exporters remain competitive in important markets and will support jobs in all regions of New Zealand,” Mr McClay says.
Ha Noi, Viet Nam – Ministers and Vice Ministers from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam met today to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade.
The Ministers reaffirmed the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic significance of the TPP highlighting its principles and high standards as a way to promote regional economic integration, contribute positively to the economic growth prospects of its member countries, and create new opportunities for workers, families, farmers, businesses and consumers.
The Ministers agreed on the value of realising the TPP’s benefits and to that end, they agreed to launch a process to assess options to bring the comprehensive, high quality Agreement into force expeditiously, including how to facilitate membership for the original signatories.
The Ministers tasked their senior trade officials to engage to take forward the preparation of this assessment. Ministers asked for this work to be completed before they meet in the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting on 10-11 November 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam.
The Ministers also underlined their vision for the TPP to expand to include other economies that can accept the high standards of the TPP.
These efforts would address our concern about protectionism, contribute to maintaining open markets, strengthening the rules-based international trading system, increasing world trade, and raising living standards.
Trade Minister Todd McClay has arrived in Vietnam for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of Trade Ministers, where he will also co-chair a meeting on the next steps for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The meeting follows a successful visit to Japan with Prime Minister Bill English where Japan and New Zealand firmly committed to work together to progress TPP11.
“This TPP meeting will be important for the future of the Agreement. This is a chance for the 11 remaining countries to collectively decide upon a process for next steps,” Mr McClay says.
“New Zealand recently joined Japan in ratifying TPP because the Agreement still has real value to the Asia-Pacific both strategically and economically.
“The Asia-Pacific is the world’s fastest growing region, it consumes more than 70 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. That’s a big part of why fighting for a common set of high-quality rules that will secure lower tariffs and better access for our exporters is so important”.
Mr McClay will also meet bilaterally with a number of key regional trading partners, participate in the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting and attend a separate meeting with Ministers from Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries.
“APEC will be an excellent opportunity to progress the hard work we are putting into securing better regional trade access and get some more clarity on key issues facing the Asia-Pacific,” Mr McClay says.
“Trade Agenda 2030, our new trade strategy, sets an ambitious target of 90 per cent of goods trade being covered by free trade agreements by 2030. Enhancing our trade relationships at APEC, RCEP and With TPP is a further step towards achieving this target.”
Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed Cabinet’s decision to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and says the move shows leadership with Japan who has also ratified the agreement.
“Cabinet’s decision sends a clear message that we see value in a common set of high-quality rules across the Asia-Pacific and we are keeping all of our options open,” Mr McClay says.
“TPP remains valuable both economically and strategically. It stands to improve access for New Zealand exporters and lower tariffs around the Asia-Pacific, including Japan, the world’s third largest economy.”
Ratification comes ahead of the APEC Trade Minister’s meeting in Vietnam later this month where Mr McClay will Co-chair a separate meeting of TPP Ministers.
“Following the U.S. withdrawal from TPP, our export sector and business community sent a clear message to find a way forward for this valuable agreement and that’s what we have been working hard to do,” Mr McClay says.
“We are still actively exploring alternative options for TPP and expect other TPP partners to also ratify in the coming months.”
“There is a building consensus that a common set of high quality rules across the Asia-Pacific will greatly benefit regional economic integration and support openness. High-quality trade deals are a key driver of growth, competition, innovation and productivity that create jobs and lower costs for consumers."
Note to editors: New Zealand's implementing legislation and regulations only take effect on the date that the Agreement enters into force for New Zealand.
Trade Minister Todd McClay says he sees big opportunities for New Zealand exporters following a visit to Vietnam this week.
Mr McClay met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh to talk about regional trade deals and ways to boost our trade relationship.
"The Prime Minister and I recognised that trade is growing quickly between our countries. This is a significant relationship and we have set an ambitious target of doubling two-way trade to $2.5b over the next 5 years,” Mr McClay says.
Vietnam has a population of 94 million consumers. Opportunities exist around export education and tourism, as well as growth in services trade and high-quality food and beverages exports.
"Trade Minister Tuan Ahn also expressed a desire to boost links between our countries. He has proposed more direct flights between Vietnam and New Zealand and I have confirmed that our government would welcome this development,” Mr McClay says.
"The Vietnam economy is growing quickly and I congratulate the Vietnamese Government on embracing the contribution open markets play in economic development. Regional economic integration across the Asia-Pacific will deliver greater opportunity for our exporters and our citizens. "
"New Zealand is a natural partner for Vietnam in exploring opportunities that will boost trade."
“Trade Agenda 2030, our new trade strategy, sets an ambitious target of 90% of goods trade being covered by FTAs by 2030. Enhancing our trade relationship with Vietnam is a further step towards achieving this aim.”
Mr McClay also discussed the strategic value of TPP and a desire to move ahead with the RCEP negotiation. Vietnam will host a meeting of TPP ministers later in the month during the APEC Trade Ministers meeting and has asked Mr McClay to co-chair the meeting of TPP countries.
"We have agreed to continue to evaluate options under TPP that would deliver benefits for our citizens and the region. New Zealand is committed to keeping our options open," Mr McClay says
Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Vietnam today to hold talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh to discuss developments for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreements.
“New Zealand and Vietnam are both parties to the TPP Agreement and the RCEP negotiation and we have a mutual commitment to high-quality trade deals that create opportunity for our citizens,” Mr McClay says.
“The Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the world and this presents a huge number of opportunities for our farmers, growers, exporters and our wider economy.”
Vietnam is due to host the APEC trade Minister meeting beginning on the 21st of May, where meetings on both the TPP and RCEP will also take place.
“We appreciate Vietnam’s hosting of APEC and its commitment to trade liberalisation. It has also rapidly grown into an important market for New Zealand exporters,” Mr McClay says.
“Since the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) came into force in 2009 our two-way trade with Vietnam has more than tripled from $430 Million in 2009 to $1.3 billion last year.
“This visit will be an important opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and discuss how we can continue to deepen this hugely beneficial relationship for our economies.”