PM welcomes NZ-Malaysia FTA signing

  • John Key
Prime Minister

Prime Minister John Key today welcomed the New Zealand - Malaysia Free Trade Agreement as another step forward in forging better trade and other links with our neighbours in South East Asia.

Mr Key witnessed the signing of the agreement by Trade Minister Tim Groser and the Malaysian Trade Minister in Kuala Lumpur (8pm local time 26 Oct - 1am NZ time 27 Oct).

"Comprehensive free trade agreements such as this are vital for an exporting nation like New Zealand, which is far from markets and reliant on overseas export earnings.

 "The NZ-Malaysia FTA is a significant step forward in relations with Malaysia and further evidence of our economic integration with Asia.  The agreement consolidates a relationship that is built on strong official, business and individual links.

"The agreement builds on the results we achieved with the 12-country ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA signed earlier this year."

"Malaysia is New Zealand's 8th largest export market, with New Zealand exports to that country worth almost $1 billion last year.

"Between 2004 and 2008 New Zealand's goods exports to Malaysia grew by more than 80 per cent - double the rate for New Zealand's export growth to the world over the same period."

Mr Key is accompanied in Malaysia by a business delegation numbering more than 60.  The delegation is in Kuala Lumpur to take part in a formal programme in support of the FTA signing.

"Having so many prominent New Zealand businesses here in Malaysia not only demonstrates the importance of this agreement, but it also highlights increasing diversification of New Zealand's export sector."

Mr Key pointed to the boost in two-way trade between China and New Zealand since the passing of the China-NZ FTA as showing that these agreements work.

It is expected that the agreement will come into force next year once both countries have completed their respective domestic approval procedures.