Early release of FTA scoping paper demonstrates ambition on trade

11 June

Trade Minister Todd McClay has released an information paper on the scope of the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union (EU) as the Government seeks to have 90 per cent of our goods trade covered by FTAs by 2030.

“The early release of this paper will give New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses a better insight into the high level of ambition we have for this agreement as well as details about the market access we are pushing for and the quality outcomes we want to achieve,” Mr McClay says.

“The EU is our third largest market for goods and services and it grew in value to more than $20 billion in two-way trade in 2016. That’s why we are pushing so hard for better access and lower tariffs. There is huge potential to continue growing our exports to the EU.”

The release follows a number of successful bilateral meetings between Mr McClay and EU member states in Paris last week. Mr McClay was visiting for the OECD’s Ministerial Council Meeting and also met with the EU’s Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmström.

“Commissioner Malmström confirmed that the EU is committed to launching negotiations for a high quality, ambitious and inclusive agreement with New Zealand this year,” Mr McClay says.

"I received good support for the timely launch of negotiations from Germany, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Poland and the Netherlands during meetings last week, with other EU members having previously also expressed support.”

More details on the NZ-EU FTA will be available during a series of public engagement meetings planned in the coming weeks and months focusing on New Zealand’s full trade negotiations agenda.

“Trade Agenda 2030, the Government’s new trade strategy sets an ambitious target of 90 per cent of our goods trade being covered by FTAs by 2030. It also makes openness and transparency around trade issues an important priority. We want all New Zealander to share in the benefits of this thriving sector and to understand how important trade liberalisation is for the future prosperity of New Zealand,” Mr McClay says.

Note to editors:

The FTA summary scoping paper: https://mfat.govt.nz/assets/FTA-Publications/EU-FTA/EU-NZ-FTA-Scoping-Summary-and-Q-A-May-2017.pdf

Public meetings information: www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeengagement