On the Trade for All train

Some positive news amongst the doom and gloom of global trade – New Zealand and the European Union are launching an FTA negotiation. Both the EU and New Zealand have adopted a “Trade for All” approach to trade policy and now they are walking the talk.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is visiting New Zealand this week and is due to join NZ Trade Minister David Parker to launch the negotiation on 21 June.

This is good for NZ business here as Stephanie Honey outlines in her recent op ed prepared for Radio NZ which you can read here.

The NZ International Business Forum has previously welcomed this new FTA negotiation here. In 2015 we published this report which outlined the opportunities for New Zealand.

We expect much of this negotiation to proceed fairly smoothly reflecting the similarities in respective trade policies. The opportunity to increase transparency around the negotiating process will be widely welcomed.

But there will be likely sticking points, including agriculture and geographical indicators, as outlined in our post from June 2017 here.  Investment and investor protection though will not be one of these – this is for the time being this is outside the scope of the negotiation.

For now though, let’s celebrate that the EU and New Zealand are prepared to take a stand in favour of open markets and freer trade and wish our negotiators well as the NZ/EU train leaves the station.

This post was prepared by Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the NZ International Business Forum.

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