Submission to MPI on Modernising Our Export Assurances Systems: Legislative Options

Export New Zealand (ExportNZ) and the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) welcome the opportunity to comment on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Modernising Our Export Assurance Systems: Legislative Options Consultation Document.

read more

Remarks to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

by | Mar 11, 2021 | Speeches

INTERNATIONAL TREATY EXAMINATION OF THE PROTOCOL TO UPGRADE THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN NEW ZEALAND AND THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

11 MARCH 2021, STEPHEN JACOBI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Madam Chair, Members of the Committee

Thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the NZ International Business Forum on the proposed ratification of the Protocol to upgrade the NZ/China Free Trade Agreement.

I am Stephen Jacobi and I am Executive Director of NZIBF.  It’s good to be with you again so soon after my last appearance related to RCEP.  The NZ/China FTA upgrade is no less important for the New Zealand economy, particularly in this difficult time as we chart an uncertain path out of the health and economic crisis.

As you know, NZIBF brings together a number of larger exporters and the peak business organisations to provide support and input into New Zealand’s trade negotiating efforts.

You have our written submission, which recommends you support the ratification of the FTA Upgrade.

This upgrade is important, because China is not only our largest trading partner, but a key driver of economic growth in the Asia Pacific region.

The agreement is significant because despite the geo-political pressures bearing on the relationship, and differing views between New Zealand and China on a number of issues, it has been possible to reach consensus on extending the rules for trade and investment between us.

While the upgrade is unlikely to prove as transformational as the original agreement which entered into force in 2008, it nonetheless serves a number of important purposes:

  • it improves existing rules in several areas, including rules of origin, customs co-operation and trade facilitation (taking on board the RCEP commitment in relation to six hour customs clearance for perishable goods)
  • it brings the agreement up to date in a number of areas including e-commerce, trade and the environment, competition policy and government procurement; and
  • it makes some modest improvements in market access for wood products as well as a range of services sectors (including an undertaking to commence moving towards a negative list in services in two years).

Of course, we might have wished for some acceleration in liberalisation for dairy products trade but it should be noted that this trade will be completely tariff free within four years.

Most importantly, the upgrade demonstrates that New Zealand and China have the sort of relationship that enables us to continue to discuss and resolve important issues impacting on trade and investment as they come forward in the future.

Not to ratify this agreement would mean that the FTA cannot advance with the times and that our competitors in the Chinese market who have negotiated FTAs since our ground-breaking agreement was negotiated would enjoy benefits not available to us.

It is also pleasing that like RCEP the implementation of the agreement requires very little adjustment in New Zealand and that there is no change to existing flexibilities in the FTA to regulate in the national interest and to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

There is an undertaking to apply to China the same investment screening thresholds applying to CPTPP member economies, to offer some increased access for Chinese exports of environmental services and some other sectors and to reallocate the number of visas made available to Mandarin language assistants and Chinese tourism specialists.

Madam Chair, Members,

New Zealand’s relationship with China is complex, increasingly multi-faceted and requires careful, diplomatic management.

The FTA Upgrade shows it is possible to make progress even in difficult times.

The benefit to New Zealand is that this important economic relationship is now subject to an improved set of rules that have been mutually negotiated and agreed.

Our recommendation to you is that you support the ratification of the Protocol to upgrade the NZ/China FTA and I would be more than happy to answer any questions on our submission.

REGISTER WITH TRADE WORKS

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

 

Remove

 

Latest News

Submission to MFAT for CPTPP Review

30 September 2022 Phil Mellor Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington (By email) Dear Phil, Thank you for your email of 1 September, seeking our comments on the three year review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans...

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The now widespread use of the term “Indo Pacific” to describe the region to which New Zealand belongs brings a risk of geographical confusion. When did the “Asia Pacific” become the Indo Pacific?   For thirty years or more New Zealand has sought to enhance...

NZ Herald: Turbulence in global trade

Amidst the political topsy turvy of recent weeks came the news that the Government has refreshed its Trade Recovery Strategy.  That’s good news because, for exporters and the global economy as a whole, it’s tough out there. The pandemic is by no means over, there...

 Address to World Affairs Forum, 22 August 2022

ADDRESS TO THE WORLD AFFAIRS FORUM AUCKLAND, 22 AUGUST 2022 STEPHEN JACOBI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NZ INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FORUM TURBULENCE IN GLOBAL TRADE Thanks to Greg Thwaite for inviting me to speak to you this evening. It’s good to be back in the habit of meeting...

Trade and Climate Change: State of Play

TRADE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: STATE OF PLAY. A discussion paper prepared for the NZIBF by Adrian Macey, June 2022. Download here. Update: NZ-EU FTA The NZ-EU FTA has been finalised.  Article X.6 of the  trade and sustainable development chapter is on trade and...

THE NZ/EU FTA IS LIKE THE CURATE’S EGG

In which we like the good parts of the NZ EU FTA…. Who remembers the curate’s egg?  It’s when the nervous Curate, asked by the Bishop, if everything is ok with his boiled egg, replies “It’s good in parts, my Lord”.  So too the recently concluded NZ/EU FTA, which has...