Business Forum welcomes EU interest in FTA with New Zealand

by | Oct 15, 2015 | Media Releases

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The New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) is delighted at today’s announcement in Brussels that the European Commission intends to seek a mandate to open formal free trade negotiations with New Zealand.

“An FTA would unlock huge potential for both New Zealand exporters to Europe and for new partnerships between New Zealand and European businesses into other markets such as Asia,” said NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

Europe is already a very significant trade and investment partner for New Zealand and there is a strong shared history of culture, values and economic engagement. The EU was New Zealand’s third-largest export market, our second-largest source of imports and second-largest source of investment last year.

“If we could eliminate tariffs and other barriers at and behind the border, that would generate significant new opportunities to expand business in agriculture and food as well as technology, services such as tourism, education and environmental services, niche and high-value manufacturing, research and investment,” Mr Jacobi said.

“We are confident that a high quality, ambitious and comprehensive FTA would be in the interests of both sides. An FTA could help match New Zealand resources and know-how with European investment and innovation. Together, we could deepen and strengthen value chains not just between our respective economies, but also beyond, into the powerhouse markets of Asia.”

“Trade agreements are good for business. We look forward to working together with the New Zealand government and with our European business counterparts to build the case for a forward-looking agreement which will take the economic relationship to a new level” concluded Mr Jacobi.

An NZIBF discussion paper on the prospects for an EU-New Zealand FTA is available here

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