WELLINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- A trade agreement with Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru could be worth 10,000 jobs to New Zealand and will give kiwis unprecedented access to fast-growing Latin American markets, New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said on Monday.
This comes as McClay calls for public submissions on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Pacific Alliance countries.
Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru combined have 221 million consumers and a GDP of 3.85 trillion U.S. dollars, which is equivalent to the world's sixth largest economy, McClay said in a statement.
"This is an important market for us now, and we want the public and the business community to consider how they might take advantage of the increased opportunities for both trade and investment that will result from an FTA," he said.
Increasing trade and business links with the Pacific Alliance will also advance the prospect of New Zealand serving as a trading bridge between South America and Southeast Asia, the minister said.
The government will be pushing hard for "a high-quality agreement," he said, adding that "it's important we hear from New Zealanders about what they would like to see prioritized and progressed during negotiations."
Negotiations with the Pacific Alliance will begin in the coming months and are expected to progress swiftly, McClay said, adding that public submissions are due by Oct. 16.