EU-NZ FTA has huge potential says Groser

  • Tim Groser

Trade Minister Tim Groser today welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Key and European Union leaders that both sides will embark on the next steps to enable negotiations on an EU-New Zealand FTA to begin as soon as possible.

“New Zealand businesses have already indicated that they would see great value in an FTA with the EU,” says Mr Groser.

“With a total GDP of more than NZ$20 trillion, and a sophisticated consumer market with high levels of R&D and investment, the EU is an attractive prospect.

“Strengthening our relationships with mature markets such as the EU will offer us the opportunity to tap into the innovation, skills and capital which will in turn grow our economy, and position us well to support growth in newer markets.

“Our trading relationship has progressed markedly beyond the perceptions of the past. More and more we see New Zealand and European exporters cooperating in order to supply growing world food demand.

“We look forwarding to updating the framework for our trade and economic relationship to reflect this, supporting the overall strengthening of our ties with our key historical and contemporary partners in the EU.

“Today’s announcement is the first step – but it is a significant step.

“We have agreed in principle that we each see benefit in proceeding to the negotiating table.

“Improving connections to international markets through FTAs is a key component of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. Supporting international trade and investment is crucial to creating new jobs and boosting incomes for New Zealanders.

“I look forward to building on this year’s successes, particularly the signing of the Korean FTA and the conclusion of Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations,” says Mr Groser.

Both sides have internal processes, including Cabinet approval, to complete in order to obtain the more detailed mandates needed to begin negotiations, and we hope these can be completed as soon as possible.

The joint statement can be found here