The EMA embraces the historical 24 hours in which a deal has been struck on an upgrade to our free trade agreement with China, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement signed by all but India.
Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says these agreements together will bring a boost to exporters and consequently the New Zealand economy.
“Many of our members who are exporters will welcome the ability to reach larger economies across the other side of the world more easily, and the reduced tariffs and clear trading arrangements these two agreements bring will makes this much simpler,” he says.
Key outcomes of the upgraded China free trade agreement include preferential treatment for many wood and paper products, less compliance costs for all exports and the highest level of commitment to environmental standards China has made in any FTA.
New Zealand exports to China have tripled since 2008 when the original free trade agreement was signed.
And while RCEP covers trade among New Zealand 14 other Asia-Pacific countries, it still excludes India, a market that Mr O’Riley is hopeful will eventually join.
“India is an increasingly important market to New Zealand, where clearly there are close links with the large Indian population and number of businesses here. India’s huge population and growing middle class means our high-quality products will be in demand, and consistent rules across 15 countries would make it much simpler for our exporters,” says Mr O’Riley.
“At a time when free trade is being challenged globally, it’s great to see these two agreements signed that plug New Zealand into the fastest growing economies in the world.”