Think Europe as well as Asia

A decision about whether the New Zealand and the European Union will launch negotiations for a free trade agreement is expected later this year. A discussion paper prepared by the NZ International Business Forum outlining the case for a NZ/EU FTA is to be released at an event held in Wellington on 16 September.

Europe is already a very significant trade and investment partner for New Zealand: the EU is a top export market, second largest source of imports, and second-largest source of investment. Although the relationship is in reasonable shape, many New Zealand exports still face barriers, at the border or behind it, which add costs, generate uncertainty or in some cases even make trade uneconomic.

New Zealand should be trying to target European investment to match with NZ resources and know-how and then jointly market these opportunities using our network of FTAs in Asia. This will create new business, growth and jobs in areas such as agriculture and food as well as technology, services (including tourism, education, and environmental services), niche and high-value manufacturing, research and investment.

A copy of the discussion paper can be found here.

Background on the European Union and its trade policy can be found at: http://europa.eu/pol/pdf/flipbook/en/trade_en.pdf.

This post has been prepared by Stephanie Honey, Associate Director of the NZ International Business Forum.