New Zealand to sign NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement and attend NATO Summit

Prime Minister Trade and Export Growth

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Brussels to witness New Zealand signing the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement before heading to Stockholm and the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Lithuania.

“I said trade would be a key focus for me this year and securing this deal will be a major boost for our economy,” Chris Hipkins said.

“This long-awaited deal will unlock access to the world’s third biggest market and deliver immediate tariff savings on New Zealand exports to the EU of around $100 million a year when it enters into force – more than any past New Zealand FTA,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Modelling suggests exports to the European Union will increase by up to $1.8 billion per annum and add up to $1.4 billion to New Zealand’s GDP per year once fully implemented.

“This is an important milestone towards entry into force of this high-quality and historic free trade agreement,” Chris Hipkins said.

The Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor will join the Prime Minister in Brussels to sign the agreement. EU Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, will sign the FTA on behalf of the EU, alongside EU President Ursula von der Leyen.

New Zealand will also sign the Horizon Europe Association Agreement, which is the European Union’s main research and innovation framework and funding platform. It is the largest multilateral research programme in the world.

“Associating to Horizon Europe will provide new opportunities for New Zealand scientists to collaborate with European partners on research to address major global challenges such as climate change, energy and health,” Chris Hipkins said.

The Prime Minister will meet with his Swedish counterpart Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Johan Forssell in Stockholm, before travelling to Lithuania for the NATO Leaders’ Summit.

Participating in the Summit demonstrates the importance that New Zealand places on its longstanding partnership with NATO.

“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine fundamentally undermines the international rules-based system that is so important to New Zealand. It has had significant impacts on the global economy, as well as New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The Summit in Vilnius gives New Zealand the opportunity to contribute our perspective to leaders’ discussions on these matters of global importance.”

The Prime Minister will also hold significant bilateral meetings with foreign leaders on the sidelines of the Summit.

The Prime Minister leaves New Zealand this Friday 7 July and returns on 14 July, while Damien O’Connor leaves the same day but returns on 12 July. 

“I look forward to advancing trade and economic opportunities arising from the NZ-EU FTA and conveying our thanks to Sweden for their support throughout the negotiations, especially during their recent term as EU President,” Damien O’Connor said.