An Open Letter to Trade Minister O’Connor

We write this open letter to express the strong support of the New Zealand business community for ambitious outcomes at the Twelfth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (“MC12”).

read more


by | Nov 1, 2021 | Media Releases, NZIBF | 0 comments

Final steps are being completed for New Zealand’s ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Agreement, which brings implementation of the Agreement’s useful provisions a step closer, says the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF).

“This is good news at a difficult time for international trade. RCEP is a significant new platform for extending trade rules across the Asia-Pacific region and provides modest but useful market access benefits for New Zealand exporters”, said NZIBF Chair Philip Gregan.

New Zealand already has FTAs with RCEP members but was able to achieve new market access into Indonesia on a range of products such as sheep meat, beef, fish products, liquid milk, cheese, honey, avocados, tomatoes and persimmons.  In addition, improved customs procedures will facilitate New Zealand exports of perishable products across the RCEP region and other commitments including in services and investment will add to the rule book for trade and investment with Asian countries.

“In a world where protectionist sentiment remains strong, we need to make progress where we can.  The gains from RCEP would clearly have been greater if India had not withdrawn and we hope India will make use of RCEP’s fast track procedures to join RCEP in the future”.

The RCEP Legislation Bill passed its third reading on 21 October and received Royal Assent on 27 October.   New Zealand will now formally notify its ratification to the Secretary-General of ASEAN as the official depositary for the RCEP agreement.

“We welcome the bipartisan support for RCEP ratification at a time when New Zealand’s ability to trade internationally has never been more important.  We encourage MPs to look favourably at New Zealand’s other trade initiatives and commend the Government and officials for their continuing efforts”.

RCEP’s entry into force which will occur 60 days after the date on which at least three non-ASEAN signatories and six ASEAN signatories have notified that they have ratified.  New Zealand will join Japan and China as three non-ASEAN signatories who have completed their domestic processes and several other ASEAN members are reported to be very close.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.




Latest News

Five Minutes to MC12

In a fortnight’s time, Ministers from the 164 members of the World Trade Organisation will gather for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (“MC12”) in Geneva. The pandemic, fish subsidies and agriculture will headline the agenda, but meaningful outcomes are far from a...

APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration

We, the Economic Leaders of APEC met on 12 November 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives and impact livelihoods. The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants will create ongoing uncertainty and an uneven economic recovery across the...

Press release from ABAC IV meeting, 10 November 2021

Business to APEC Leaders: work together to address pandemic recovery, trade, climate, inequality Wellington, New Zealand, 10 November 2021 - Business leaders from the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), meeting virtually ahead of the annual APEC Economic Leaders’...


The ABAC NZ TeamThe APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is preparing to discuss its Annual Report with APEC Economic Leaders. Nothing like a pandemic to upset lives and livelihoods, and also disrupt this year’s hosting of APEC by New Zealand.  Gone is the “barbecue...

Britain here we come!

We are excited about the Agreement in Principle (AiP) on a future free trade agreement with the United Kingdom! Some 139 years after the first refrigerated vessel left for the “mother country” and 48 years since Britain cast its lot with a united Europe, New Zealand...