Stephen Jacobi, NZIBF Executive Director, speaks to the Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit in New Delhi about The Future of Multilateralism.
International treaty examination of the agreement between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea Statement to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee 30 April 2015 Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, NZIBF
Mr Chairman, Honourable members.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to our submission. I do so on behalf of the business leaders who make up the membership of the NZ International Business Forum. The organisations they represent are among New Zealand’s largest internationally oriented businesses and peak business associations.
You will be hearing from several of these organisations directly and questions related to the impact of this agreement on their individual operations are best directed to them. As the NZ International Business Forum we are particularly interested in the way New Zealand enterprises and our economy as a whole is able to integrate with the global economy. From this perspective this agreement with Korea is a very welcome development.
In the interests of time I would like to comment on two issues highlighted in our submission.
The first relates to market access to Korea.
Trade Minister Groser has been quoted as saying that the Korean FTA is not a perfect agreement. That’s because of the lengthy time frames for the elimination of some Korean tariffs of interest to New Zealand and because some products will remain subject to tariffs and with safeguards.
There’s no hiding the fact that this negotiation has been a difficult one. The Korean Government was very reluctant to eliminate tariffs on some products and this is not surprising given the long history of protectionism in Korea. The Korean FTA however provides a pathway to tariff elimination for a number of key products for New Zealand including most dairy products, beef and kiwifruit and immediate tariff elimination on wine. NZIBF is satisfied that this was the best outcome that could be achieved in the circumstances.
In particular given the FTAs that Korea has achieved with our competitors, it was important that this deal was concluded in a timely fashion to avoid ongoing discrimination in the Korean market. There was no point in letting the perfect become the enemy of the good. Even with this outcome some New Zealand exporters will continue to be penalised until the tariff phasing catches up with our competitors.
Should, as is expected, Korea seek to become a member of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), once concluded, there will be another opportunity to address the outstanding issues which remain of concern to the affected sectors.
The second issue relates to foreign direct investment.
As you see we have attached to our submission some further commentary on FDI given the public interest in these issues at present.
Korea and New Zealand currently have low levels of investment. The FTA provides additional protections for investors in both countries, which should contribute to improving the investment climate.
Importantly however the FTA does not weaken the Government’s ability to continue to regulate on matters of national interest including in respect to public health, the environment or the Treaty of Waitangi.
As the annex explains in greater depth this is done in two ways – by a list of “non complying measures” in Annex II to the investment chapter and by general exceptions language in Article 20, which also applies to investment.
We have compared the provisions in the Korea FTA to earlier undertakings given in the NZ China FTA (2008) and the Australia New Zealand Investment Protocol (2013).
We submit that the protections contained in the agreement are equal to, and in some cases superior to, past provisions. This suggests to us that the Korea FTA has maintained an appropriate balance between investor protection and government regulation.
This is clearly of relevance to the current TPP negotiations, where we have no doubt New Zealand’s negotiators are seeking similar provisions.
Mr Chairman, Honourable Members
Korea is an important trading partner for New Zealand and with the right rules and framework there are opportunities to increase two-way trade and investment.
The Korea FTA provides a basis for improving the economic relationship between the two of us. In the assessment of the NZ International Business Forum it is, on balance, a good deal for New Zealand and deserves your support.
REGISTER WITH TRADE WORKS
Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.
Remarks to Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit, New Delhi, 15 March 2023
"The Future of Multilateralism" by Stephen Jacobi, NZIBF Executive Director Namaskar Tēnā koutou katoa – greetings to you all in the language of the Māori people of Aotearoa New Zealand. It is an honour for me to speak to such a distinguished gathering today....
AMIDST THE STORM: ABAC MEETS IN AUCKLAND
Perhaps a cyclone was after all a fitting backdrop for the meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) which was held in Auckland on 12-14 February – the global environment against which the meeting took place is decidedly stormy. In the event the wind...
Asia-Pacific business leaders call for action on climate and economic inclusion
APEC NEWS RELEASE Issued by The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Auckland, 14 February 2023 - Members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) met in Auckland, New Zealand this week to develop a work plan that calls on policymakers to leverage trade and...
ASIA-PACIFIC BUSINESS LEADERS GATHERING IN AUCKLAND, 12-14 FEBRUARY 2023
Media Release - 8 February 2023 Equity, sustainability and opportunity are key themes of one of the largest gatherings of senior Asia-Pacific business leaders held in New Zealand for some time. The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is due to meet in Tāmaki...
A YEAR FOR RECONNECTING
As I write this end of year dispatch, NZIBF is preparing to host the first meeting for 2023 of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). We are looking forward to welcoming the 200 or so business leaders and senior officials from APEC member economies across the...
MAJOR GATHERING OF ASIA-PACIFIC BUSINESS LEADERS TO BE HELD IN AUCKLAND, 12-14 FEBRUARY 2023
Media Release - 14 December 2022 Sustainability, digitalisation and resilient, inclusive trade will be key themes of a major gathering of senior Asia-Pacific business leaders to be held in Auckland early next year – the first such event to be held in New Zealand...
NZ Herald: Time to lift our game in India
Following his recent visit to India our Executive Director Stephen Jacobi penned this article advocating a more strategic approach to the further development of the relationship. The article was published by the NZ Herald on 9 December.
APEC Rolls out Priorities for 2023
Issued by the Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting - Honolulu, The United States, 13 December 2022 Aiming to provide tailwinds for member economies to strengthen recovery and resilience, as well as advance broad-based economic growth, the United States rolled out its...
NZIBF 2022 Chair Report
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022 CHAIR’S REPORT I am pleased to present my second report on the activities and achievements of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) for 2022-23, our fifteenth year of operations. At the outset I would like to thank Members for...
APEC Leaders Issue 2022 Declaration and the Bangkok Goals on the Bio-Circular-Green Economy
Issued by the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting Bangkok, Thailand, 19 November 2022 The Leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the 2022 Leaders’ Declaration following the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Thailand,...
NZ BUSINESS LEADERS AT APEC 2022
New Zealand business will be represented at the APEC Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, commencing 13 November, by members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). New Zealand’s three members – Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Anna Curzon – supported by Stephen Jacobi...
Submission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Re-Development of the Framework for Integrating Labour Standards and Trade Agreements
Submission by NZIBF – October 2022 This submission is made on behalf of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF), whose members are listed at Annex A. NZIBF is a forum of senior business leaders working together to promote New Zealand’s engagement in the global...
Address to the 51st One Stop Update for The Accountant In Business, 25 October 2022
ADDRESS TO THE 51st ONE STOP UPDATE FOR THE ACCOUNTANT IN BUSINESS AUCKLAND, 25 OCTOBER 2022 STEPHEN JACOBI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NZ INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FORUM GLOBAL ECONOMIC UPDATE Thanks to Brightstar for inviting me back to address this conference once again. When...
Submission to MPI on Modernising Our Export Assurances Systems: Legislative Options
Submission by Export NZ and NZIBF - 29 September 2022 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Export New Zealand (ExportNZ) and the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) welcome the opportunity to comment on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Modernising Our Export...
Submission to MFAT for CPTPP Review
30 September 2022 Phil Mellor Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington (By email) Dear Phil, Thank you for your email of 1 September, seeking our comments on the three year review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans...