Media release, 6 May 2021
The NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) welcomes the news that the pace of the NZ/UK FTA negotiation is to be lifted, but says a comprehensive market access package remains the key to unlocking a successful outcome.
“Trade negotiations are successful when they lead to more trade under better trade rules” says NZIBF Executive Director, Stephen Jacobi.
“That depends on opening markets by eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The work to broaden inclusion and address sustainability and other important issues of mutual interest stems from there”.
Mr Jacobi said good progress had been made in the negotiation, with the fourth round having just been completed.
“There is plenty of good will on both sides and that good will now needs to be extended to exchanging realistic and commercially meaningful market access offers, including in agriculture. The UK has thus far not delivered this expectation and needs to do more so the negotiation can move into its final phase”.
Mr Jacobi noted that the NZ/UK agreement was a possible pathway to future UK membership of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“We welcome the UK interest in CPTPP, but, as we have recently advised the NZ Government*, membership by any economy must rely on the ability to meet the agreement’s high standards and to reach a satisfactory market access outcome”.
“If more progress can be made in the bilateral negotiation in coming months, NZIBF will be pleased to offer its wholehearted support for UK accession” concluded Mr Jacobi.