New Zealand and UK launch free trade talks

  • Hon David Parker
Trade and Export Growth

New Zealand and the UK have formally launched free trade negotiations today. 

“As the UK embarks on its next steps post-Brexit, New Zealand is pleased to be among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement with one of our oldest friends,” Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said.  

“We look forward to an FTA that opens up more opportunities for small and medium sized businesses, Māori exporters, and our regional communities, consistent with our Trade for All objectives,” he said. 

“New Zealand and the United Kingdom have a close relationship, including strong trade and economic ties, common values and traditions and a shared history. A free trade agreement will be an important new milestone in that relationship.  

“In the post Brexit environment, it makes more sense than ever for us to be working together to grow this partnership for the future,” David Parker said. 

“As the global economy continues to be severely impacted by the effects of COVID-19, we are more committed than ever to concluding a bilateral FTA capable of delivering significant benefits to the people of both New Zealand and the UK.” 

Both sides underscored their commitment to achieving an early conclusion to a high quality, comprehensive and inclusive trade agreement.   

The UK is New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner. Two-way trade totalled almost $6 billion last year.                 

Among the important outcomes we will be working to secure are:

  • the removal of tariffs on trade between us;
  • the development of new approaches to address non-tariff barriers;
  • the facilitation of trade between us, including through streamlined customs procedures, good regulatory practice and regulatory cooperation;
  • the development of new ways of thinking to foster digital trade;
  • breaking new ground on trade provisions in support of sustainable development, including climate change. 

The first round of negotiations is expected to take place by video conference from mid-July.