Press Release – NZUS Council

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could deliver substantial gains to the New Zealand economy, delegates will be told at the NZ US Council’s 10th Anniversary Conference in Auckland tomorrow.3 May 2012

Trans Pacific Partnership targets $2.1 billion boost to New Zealand’s economy by 2025

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could deliver substantial gains to the New Zealand economy, delegates will be told at the NZ US Council’s 10th Anniversary Conference in Auckland tomorrow.

Research undertaken by the East-West Center, in Honolulu, to be presented by economic research firm NZIER, suggests that, if successfully concluded, TPP could add around $2.1 billion to the New Zealand economy by 2025, said NZ US Council Executive Director, Stephen Jacobi.

“This research is an important contribution to the debate around free trade. It’s the first time comprehensive, independent analysis of the expected economic benefits of the TPP has been published but these gains depend entirely on the ability of negotiators to bring home a fully comprehensive agreement, covering all goods and services,” said Mr Jacobi.

“TPP is a complex undertaking and negotiations invariably take time but the potential prize in completing the negotiation is very significant.”

Mr Jacobi said that rhetoric from opposing groups often clouded the debate around the benefits of a more open environment for trade and investment.

“This research lays out the potential economic gains for everyone to see. By removing barriers to trade and reducing business costs, the TPP can help will grow the New Zealand economy.”

The East-West Center’s research indicates that 2025 gains could be larger if a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) was able to developed from the TPP pathway. New Zealand’s GDP is forecast to expand by 0.83 percent under TPP and 1.35 percent under FTAAP.

“Given the potential highlighted in this research, New Zealand businesses should be looking at opportunities in TPP markets so they can benefit when these markets become more open. Now is precisely the time to start thinking about how to turn these negotiations to commercial advantage. That is essentially the task of tomorrow’s conference,” said Mr Jacobi.

The research will be one of a number of perspectives on TPP presented to business, government and community leaders meeting at the NZ US Council’s conference. The conference celebrates the progress made in strengthening the relationship between New Zealand and the United States in the last ten years, and looks ahead to new opportunities arising from the completion of the TPP negotiations now underway between nine economies.

In addition to NZIER, conference speakers will include NZ US Council chairman Rt Hon James Bolger, US Ambassador David Huebner, Foreign Minister Murray McCully, international economist Jeff Schott, US business leader Cal Cohen, Japan Chamber of Commerce’s Hidehiro Okayama, and other leading New Zealand business leaders and commentators.

The NZ US Council conference is proud of the platinum sponsorship provided by Westpac. The Council is also grateful for gold sponsorship from Dairy Companies’ Association of New Zealand (DCANZ), and the silver sponsorship from Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association. The conference also received valuable support from Fulbright New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

About the Conference The theme of the NZ US Council anniversary conference is “Growing beyond the crisis: the Trans Pacific Partnership- prospects and opportunities for business”. www.nzusconference.co.nz

About the Research The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research is presenting the results from an international research paper investigating the economic benefits of the TPP, which NZIER has reviewed for the NZUS Council. Details of that paper are: Petri, P.A., M. Plummer, and F. Zhai. (2011). ‘The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Asia-Pacific Integration: A Quantitative Assessment’. East-West Center Working Paper No. 119, October 2011 http://www.eastwestcenter.org/publications/trans-pacific-partnership-and-asia-pacific-integration-quantitative-assessment

About the Trans Pacific Partnership TPP is an existing trade agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore which Australia, Malaysia, Peru, the United States and Viet Nam wish to join. Eleven rounds of negotiations have been held involving the nine partners. The economies of APEC account for over 70 per cent of New Zealand’s total merchandise trade. Trade with APEC economies has been growing at an average of 4.5 per cent per annum over the last 20 years.

About the NZUS Council The NZ US Council is a non-partisan body funded by both business and the Government to promote New Zealand’s broader relationship with the US. Two-way trade with the US is valued at over $8 billion and the US is a leading source of investment, innovation and business ideas. The NZ US Council is actively engaged in co-ordinating business and government efforts towards concluding a comprehensive, high quality result to the TPP negotiations. www.nzuscouncil.com

ENDS

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