New Zealand signs free trade deal with Britain

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New Zealand and Britain signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Tuesday that unlocks unprecedented access to the British market and accelerates New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery, said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Virtually all our current trade will be duty-free from entry into force, including duty-free quotas for key products like meat, butter and cheese, helping to accelerate our economic recovery,” Ardern said in a statement.

The deal will boost New Zealand’s GDP by up to NZ$1 billion ($680 million), supporting business and jobs, he added, Xinhua news agency reported.

This is New Zealand’s first bilateral trade agreement to include a specific article on climate change and includes provisions towards eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies, such as harmful fossil fuel subsidies, and prohibiting fisheries subsidies which lead to overfishing, she said.

The FTA was signed in London by New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

It’s estimated New Zealand goods exports to Britain will increase by more than 50 per cent through the agreement, O’Connor said, adding the agreement will enter into force by the end of 2022 after both partners ratify the agreement through respective parliaments.

Britain was New Zealand’s seventh-largest trading partner pre-Covid, with two-way trade worth NZ$6 billion ($4.06 billion) to March 2020, he said.

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