Trade Minister Todd McClay and Associate Health Minister Nicki Wagner say we have been working closely with Australia in the fight for tobacco plain packaging laws and believe the World Trade Organisation (WTO) case will be important for New Zealand.
The WTO case, which is expected to be decided later this year, was launched in 2014 with New Zealand as a ‘third party’. New Zealand has presented evidence including appearing before the WTO Panel in Geneva.
“This case is about a country’s right to determine its own measures to protect public health. We have always said that the link between domestic public health rights and trade is important to our government and we are fighting hard to ensure this view is shared in the WTO,” Mr McClay says.
“The WTO has a robust set of trade rules in place to preserve our rights and I remain confident that the WTO will find in Australia’s favour on tobacco plain packaging," Mr McClay said.
New Zealand has a keen interest in proceedings because the Smoke-Free Environments Act comes into force on March the 14th 2018 and will require plain standardised tobacco packaging after this date.
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says the upcoming decision is particularly important because product design and packaging are major avenues for the marketing and promotion of tobacco products.
“Smoking is our leading cause of preventable disease and the Government is committed to the goal of making New Zealand smokefree by 2025, Ms Wagner says.
“Plain packaging will reduce the appeal of tobacco products and the desirability of smoking. This move shows we are serious about stubbing out smoking and deterring new smokers, especially young people.”
Trade Minister Todd McClay will chair the first meeting of the Trade Ministerial Advisory Group today (MAG) and says it builds on a strong campaign of new engagement opportunities in the trade portfolio.
“Trade contributed $70 billion to the New Zealand economy last year alone and hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on it. We all have a stake in the continued success of our export sector,” Mr McClay says.
“The MAG has been set up with this in mind and will provide better engagement on all trade issues. It will also serve as a more direct avenue for a wider range of interested parties to engage with the Government.”
The MAG includes representation from iwi, unions and NGOs, as well as industry bodies for primary industry, wood, seafood, tourism, education, horticulture, aviation and technology.
This first meeting of the MAG will focus on the detail of Trade Agenda 2030 and the first stages in the Government’s plans for implementing the new strategy.
“Trade Agenda 2030 sets a target of 90 percent of our goods exports being covered by FTAs by 2030. We are also looking to tackle non-tariff barriers more effectively and focusing more on new growth opportunities in trade in services, investment and the digital economy,” Mr McClay says
“We are charting an ambitious course ahead for trade deals and market access. It must be underpinned by a comprehensive programme of engagement that also aims to make more information available to the wider public.”
More information about the MAG can be found at: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/nz-trade-policy/ministerial-advisory-group-on-trade/
Trade Minister Todd McClay says that the resumption of the CER-MERCOSUR Dialogue after 5 years is very good news for New Zealand and could lead to big trade gains for our exporters.
The meeting will be held on 4 May in Buenos Aires between senior officials from New Zealand, Australia and the four countries that make up the MERCOSUR bloc, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
“The resumption of talks is a significant development and I see this as laying the foundations for a future trade negotiation. We will be pushing hard for a deal which offers better access for New Zealand,” Mr McClay says.
“Whilst it's early days, this could lead to an extremely valuable opportunity for New Zealand.”
“The MERCOSUR bloc has a GDP of more than US$2.4 trillion and a total population of 260 million. It’s a part of the world that’s growing quickly and it’s important that our exporters can be competitive in this market. High-quality trade deals help to ensure this competitiveness.”
Under the new trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, the Government is committed to forging new trade ties and expanding our network of trade agreements. It also sets the ambitious target of covering 90 per cent of our goods trade by free trade agreements by 2030.
“We have a strong commitment to developing closer economic relations with Latin America. I welcome the restarting of talks with MERCOSUR,” Mr McClay says.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Trade Minister Todd McClay have announced that New Zealand will participate in World Expo 2020, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The announcement was made during Mr Bridges’ visit to Dubai.
“Through Budget 2017, the Government is committing $53.3 million to construct a New Zealand Pavilion that will allow Kiwi businesses to highlight their innovative products and services and open doors to new export markets,” says Mr Bridges.
“Showcasing New Zealand to the world is a crucial part of boosting economic growth. Expo 2020 will provide a springboard to promote us as an innovative, solution-focused economy to the 25 million visitors expected to attend from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
“It will also allow us to build on our strong economic and transport links to the UAE which acts as a global air and sea logistics hub, providing access for New Zealand exporters to a much wider region. We’re already well connected with five direct daily Emirates flights, contributing $700 million to the economy,” says Mr Bridges.
“It makes clear economic sense for New Zealand to participate in this global event,” says Mr Bridges.
The Expo will take place from October 2020 to April 2021 with Mr McClay saying it will attract high-value visitors from all corners of the world.
“Expo 2020 is a vital opportunity to increase New Zealand’s profile amongst new trading partners as well as grow our trade with existing partners,” says Mr McClay.
We have a strong trade and economic relationship with the UAE and $3.8 billion of two-way trade with the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” says Mr McClay.
“The Gulf States also importantly provide an entry point into the wider region for many New Zealand companies and a base from which to better access the wider Middle East and beyond,” says Mr McClay.
New Zealand is close to completing a free trade agreement with the GCC, which comprises of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The UAE alone is New Zealand’s twelfth largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade exceeding $1.9 billion in 2016.
About Expo 2020
Expo 2020 has the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The Expo site will be around 2sq/km in size and will contain three thematic areas: opportunity, sustainability and mobility.
These three pavilions will showcase ideas and innovations, and countries that attend will have their specific pavilions spread around the thematic areas. New Zealand has been invited to participate in the sustainability precinct.
The organisers expect around 180 nations to participate. New Zealand is among the first 20 to formally confirm attendance.
More information on the Expo see http://expo2020dubai.ae
New Zealand Pavilion
The Government is about to launch an RFP process within the creative sector of New Zealand to select the best team and ideas for the design and content.
Trade Minister Todd McClay says the successful conclusion of PACER Plus negotiations is a landmark day for trade and the sustainable economic development of the Pacific.
"PACER Plus is a unique trade and development agreement. It includes a development package of more than $55 million that will help raise standards of living, create employment opportunities and increase export capacity in Pacific Island countries,” Mr McClay says.
The agreement which was reached in Brisbane today by Pacific Island, New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers includes tariff phase out periods which recognise the vulnerable nature of many Pacific economies and the strong relationship they share with Australia and New Zealand.
"This is a significant achievement. After 8 years of negotiations, we can now focus on implementing an agreement which future-proofs our access whilst helping develop their export economies," Mr McClay says.
“The agreement will also create a common set of trading rules covering goods, services and investment in support of economic growth. These rules will help reduce tariffs and red tape for exporters and investors, which will increase the attractiveness of the region for trade and investment,” Mr McClay says.
The 14 countries participating in PACER Plus are New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
An expedited procedure has been agreed for other Forum Island countries to join the Agreement.
A formal signing of the agreement is scheduled to take place in Tonga in June.
Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Malaysia today for high-level talks with Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed and to mark 60 years of successful bilateral relations between the two countries.
Mr McClay will also speak about trade and investment opportunities in New Zealand at a business forum in front of 150 of Malaysia’s top executives and investors.
“We have made a lot of progress in 60 years, particularly since a free trade agreement (FTA) was signed between our two countries in 2010,” Mr McClay says.
“Malaysia is now our 10th largest two-way trading partner and in 2016 we exported more than a billion dollars of goods and services to them.
”Malaysia is also a big investor around the world and I will be talking to key business people about opportunities for greater two-way investment, including in New Zealand’s booming tourism, hotel and hospitality sectors.”
Malaysia is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who are forecast by 2050 to consume three times more dairy and double the amount of fruit and meat than they consumed in 2007.
“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,” Mr McClay says.
“In January our FTA saw tariffs eliminated from 99.5 per cent of New Zealand’s exports to Malaysia. So we are very well placed to increase our trade and investment with this lucrative market.”
Trade Minister Todd McClay says the electronic-commerce arrangement signed with China today will help New Zealand’s digital exports rise up the value chain and has the potential to be a big win for the wider digital economy.
“E-commerce provides enormous potential for businesses to sell high-quality goods and services direct to consumers. This arrangement with China will help New Zealand shape rules that promote business-friendly, secure e-commerce practices,” Mr McClay says.
“Agenda 2030 recognises that e-commerce and digital services exports are a vital and growing area of our diversifying trade. This agreement is an important step as we secure reliable trading conditions for our industry.”
Mr McClay also welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of a date for the first round of negotiations on the NZ-China FTA upgrade.
“This is an important milestone as China and New Zealand make progress towards our joint target of $30 billion two-way trade by 2020,” Mr McClay says.
“In the recently announcement Trade Agenda 2030 we set ambitious targets to maximise the benefit of our existing FTAs and these agreements including the chilled meats memorandum, will help grow trade with this important market.
“Since the NZ-China FTA came into force in 2008 two-way goods and services trade between New Zealand and China has nearly tripled to $23 billion, creating jobs and opportunities for people in both countries.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Trade Minister Todd McClay have welcomed a Memorandum of Cooperation that allows for the export of chilled meat into China, calling it a big win for exporters.
“This is a fantastic step forward for New Zealand’s red meat sector, and a sign of the great relationship we share with China,” Mr Guy says.
The six month trial marks very positive progress for New Zealand’s work programme to expand market access to China for a range of our meat products.
“Trade in chilled meat to China will initially involve ten meat establishments agreed in conjunction with industry. I'm excited that New Zealand’s premium chilled cuts will be enjoyed in high-end restaurants and retailers in China very soon.”
“This agreement has the potential to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars for our farmers, exporters and the wider economy,” Mr McClay says.
“Part of the Trade Agenda 2030 strategy, launched last week is to maximise the benefits of our existing trade agreements. This memorandum is an important step towards meeting our joint target of $30 billion dollars of two-way with China by 2030.”
China is New Zealand’s second largest market for beef and sheep exports. New Zealand exported about NZ $1 billion worth of frozen sheep and beef meat in the year to December 2016, a trade that has grown five-fold since 2011.
“With great air links to China, exporters have the opportunity to fill returning planes with chilled meat as demand grows,” Mr Guy says
An agreement that will allow China to export retail-ready fresh unpeeled onions to New Zealand has also been signed.
“This follows a new Import Health Standard (IHS) which was consulted with local industry to manage any biosecurity risks.”
Mr Guy also welcomed the signing of an agreement with China aimed at strengthening cooperation in fisheries, and an agreed list of projects to commence as part of the Agricultural Growth Partnership which was signed last year.
“Premier Li Keqiang’s visit is testament to the strong relationship China shares with New Zealand,” Mr Guy says.
“I’d like to thank officials from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and acknowledge the hard work and close collaboration between AQSIQ and the Ministry for Primary Industries.”
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 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.