EU negotiating mandate for FTA negotiations with New Zealand is approved

Issued by the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF). 

23 May 2018 – The New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) has warmly welcomed today’s announcement in Brussels that European Union Ministers have agreed a negotiating mandate for a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

“Recent meetings between the Prime Minister and her European counterparts have helped to affirm our strong shared interests and values,” said NZIBF Chairman Malcolm Bailey. “Today’s decision to authorise the start of trade talks means that the necessary next step has now been taken towards realising an ambitious, high-quality, comprehensive and forward-looking agreement with Europe.”

“New Zealand and the EU are already solid economic, trade and investment partners, but there is huge potential to modernise, deepen and strengthen those ties. We see exciting opportunities for businesses on both sides to form new partnerships into other markets in Asia in particular,” Mr Bailey added.

An FTA could deliver significant benefits for agriculture and food as well as technology, services such as tourism, education and environmental services, niche and high-value manufacturing, research and investment. “Next generation” issues such as the environment and sustainable development, the digital economy, and how to enable small businesses, women and indigenous communities to participate more successfully in trade are also likely to be included.

“These are turbulent times for trade globally.   This decision is a powerful affirmation of commitment to global trade rules, more open markets and deeper economic integration – even between geographically distant trading partners,” concluded Mr Bailey. “We warmly welcome the EU decision.”

Commissioner Malmstrom is scheduled to visit New Zealand next month to launch the negotiations officially.

An NZIBF discussion paper on the prospects for an EU-New Zealand FTA is available here http://www.tradeworks.org.nz/towards-a-new-zealand-european-union-fta/

 

For further information:

Malcolm Bailey, Chairman, cell 021 741165 m.g.bailey@xtra.co.nz

Fiona Cooper, Acting Director, cell 021 934 466 fionacooper@outlook.co.nz

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