New Zealand-EU FTA scoping paper demonstrates ambition on trade: official

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-11 21:37:57|Editor: ying
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WELLINGTON, June 11 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay on Sunday released an information paper on the scope of the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union (EU) as the government seeks to have 90 percent of New Zealand goods trade covered by FTAs by 2030.

"The early release of this paper will give New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses a better insight into the high level of ambition we have for this agreement as well as details about the market access we are pushing for and the quality outcomes we want to achieve," McClay said in a statement.

The EU is New Zealand's third largest market for goods and services and it grew in value to more than 20 billion NZ dollars (14.42 billion U.S. dollars) in two-way trade in 2016.

The release follows a number of successful bilateral meetings between McClay and EU member states in Paris last week. McClay met with the EU's Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmström.

"Commissioner Malmström confirmed that the EU is committed to launching negotiations for a high quality, ambitious and inclusive agreement with New Zealand this year," McClay said.

"I received good support for the timely launch of negotiations from Germany, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Poland and the Netherlands during meetings last week, with other EU members having previously also expressed support," he said.

More details on the NZ-EU FTA will be available during a series of public engagement meetings planned in the coming weeks and months focusing on New Zealand's full trade negotiations agenda, according to McClay.

Trade Agenda 2030, New Zealand's new trade strategy sets an ambitious target of 90 percent of its goods trade being covered by FTAs by 2030. It also makes openness and transparency around trade issues an important priority.