New Zealand welcomes UK launch of public consultations on a Free Trade Agreement

The United Kingdom’s decision to launch public consultations on a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand has been welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  

“This is a strong signal that the UK is prioritising an early agreement with New Zealand. It reflects our shared commitment to put in place a high quality, comprehensive FTA as soon as possible once the UK has left the EU,” David Parker said.

“There’s lots of other countries they could have chosen, but they have chosen us and that’s good. 

“It is part of this Government’s active and broad trade agenda. Partners like the UK and the EU, who have similar thinking on human rights, labour and environmental issues, offer good opportunities to advance our new Trade for All agenda  

“Businesses and workers can be sure we will support them to achieve greater market access for our exports and to expand opportunities for all.” 

The UK has said the consultations, which also cover prospective agreements with Australia and the US, signal the EU’s immediate trade negotiating priorities once it leaves the EU. 

“We see significant scope to work together with the UK as like-minded leaders on global trade,” David Parker said. 

“A progressive, high quality and comprehensive free trade agreement would be an important first step. It would help remove barriers to trade and create world-leading approaches on issues like services and digital trade.” 

The UK is New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner with two-way trade worth nearly $6 billion annually. 

The UK also signalled its interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).  

David Parker welcomed the move, noting the CPTPP’s potential to accept new members.  

“Growing the CPTPP membership would both increase its value and contribute to further alignment of rules and trading standards, which is important in the current global trade environment.”