Wanted! New FTA partners

by | Jun 29, 2021 | Media Releases, Trade Works

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Media release, 29 June 2021

New research commissioned by the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) identifies options for New Zealand’s next tranche of trade negotiations.

“Trade is the country’s lifeblood and trade has boosted the economy during the pandemic,” says NZIBF Executive Director, Stephen Jacobi.   

“New Zealand has done incredibly well over the last thirty years or so to open new markets around the world.  There’s more work to do to finish existing negotiations, upgrade existing agreements and to make progress with key partners where FTAs have proved elusive like the United States and India.  But the great wave of trade liberalisation that was ushered in after the conclusion of the Uruguay Round is coming to an end.  That’s why we need to look to the future”.

NZIBF has commissioned Sense Partners to provide a forward-looking, data-driven assessment of potential priority partners for the future.  The report – “Wanted: New FTA Partners” –  is being released at simultaneous events in Auckland and Wellington on 29 June.

“The report notes that despite our success New Zealand still has no existing or planned preferential market access with almost 40 percent of the world’s economy and consumers.  While the United States comprises a significant proportion of this, there is plenty of scope to start now to look at expanding trade relations with a range of other partners”.

The report uses a “FTA Partner Suitability Index” to identify some 22 economies which New Zealand should be thinking about seriously with an eye to future trade growth.   

“Exporters will all have their own lists but what is important is that we start the process of thinking about future partners and how best to engage with them, whether on the basis of high quality and comprehensive FTAs or other means. We should be thinking too both about our traditional areas of export strength and also how to include new sectors like services, digital and the creative economy as well as the needs of Māori business”.

“The report is a means to develop a conversation with exporters, stakeholders and the Government about where our priorities might lie in the future, recognising that we have a busy agenda today to get on with and finish” concluded Mr Jacobi.

Read and download the full report here.

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