Korea FTA done, now on to TPP

by | Mar 21, 2015 | Uncategorized


The signing of New Zealand’s FTA with Korea is another “brick in the wall” for New Zealand’s FTA coverage in Asia. Now only Japan and India are missing. But that analogy is not quite right – FTAs are meant to break down walls aren’t they? The agreement with Korea largely does this over time but the end result is not as ambitious as other FTAs we have signed. That’s because our Korean friends proved extremely reluctant to open their market completely. They accepted however that they needed to ensure that New Zealand was not disadvantaged in the Korean market compared to competitors like Australia and Chile who have already secured FTAs. That means that the deal gets a pass mark in terms of major exports beef and kiwifruit and dairy (including milk powder, where a small tariff rate quota was granted). Some useful new access was achieved in wine, mussels, salmon and squash. Even so the deal disappointed in a few areas (two lines of processed wood, frozen deer velvet, squid and some horticulture products). Hopefully we will have another crack at Korean protectionism when Korea seeks to join TPP – that’s if TPP can be concluded satisfactorily. From Washington this week Minister Groser was reported as warning that the stand-off in Congress over Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) risked turning TPP into another Doha. In an interview with Inside US Trade he said that the US, Japan and Canada had so far not made “serious offers” to New Zealand on dairy products and this also risked slowing down the process. TPP has been from the beginning promoted as an “ambitious, high quality and comprehensive” deal. It’s good to see the Minister calling others to account on this. The Korea FTA meets expectations in terms of leveling the playing field in Korea and not creating unhelpful precedents in advance of TPP. As such Minister Groser and his officials deserve congratulations for another step forward in creating a more favourable environment for business in the Asia Pacific region.

This post was written by Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the NZ International Business Forum www.nzibf.co.nz



Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.

Latest News


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...


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...

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...


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 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...