Press Release – New Zealand Government
New Zealand has taken a significant step towards expanding trade and economic links with the European Union, with a commitment to progress Free Trade negotiations announced today, Prime Minister John Key says.Rt Hon John Key
30 October 2015
NZ takes significant step towards an EU FTA
New Zealand has taken a significant step towards expanding trade and economic links with the European Union, with a commitment to progress Free Trade negotiations announced today, Prime Minister John Key says.
In a joint statement, Prime Minister John Key, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk agreed to start discussions on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
The discussions will focus on the next steps required to formally launch negotiations, including the scope and overall approach.
“The EU and New Zealand share a strong and close bond, and today’s discussions have underlined our mutual desire to further strengthen our relationship,” Mr Key says.
“I am pleased that we are able to announce a critical first step towards a FTA that should provide greater access to European markets, and make it easier for Kiwi and EU companies to do business with one another.”
The announcement builds on the EU’s recently revised Trade Policy Strategy, which sets out an increased focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
And the commitment to progress free trade agreement talks with the EU follows the successful conclusion of the Korea FTA and Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
“These agreements are part of the Government’s wider plan to diversify the economy by building strong trade, investment and economic ties around the world,” Mr Key says.
“The EU is a key trading partner for New Zealand with two-way trade totalling over $19 billion. It is also our second-largest investment source, as well as our largest research and development partner.
“We look forward to working with the EU and its Member States on next steps and to starting formal negotiations as soon as possible,” Mr Key says.