Tue, 26 Sep 2023

New Zealand-Britain FTA takes effect

31 May 2023, 18:44 GMT+10

WELLINGTON, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand-Britain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has entered into force from Wednesday.

The benefits which begin flowing from the FTA provide a further big boost to New Zealand's economy and will bring an up to 1 billion NZ dollars (600 million U.S. dollars) increase to the country's annual GDP, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement.

"The economy is through the worst, with inflation having peaked and returning to the target range next year, good growth, and more workers coming in to help with skill shortages," Hipkins said.

New Zealand businesses will immediately save around 37 million NZ dollars (22.21 million dollars) from Wednesday, with the instant elimination of tariffs and new duty-free quotas covering 99.5 percent of current exports, he said.

New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor said the wine industry is New Zealand's biggest export to Britain and will see at least 25 million NZ dollars (15 million dollars) in tariffs disappear overnight. Honey producers will no longer face a 16-percent duty, and the dairy and red meat sectors will transition to duty- and quota-free access for the first time in 50 years.

The proportion of New Zealand export goods covered by an FTA has expanded from 52.5 percent to 73.5 percent since 2017 and shows the importance of these agreements to growing exports, O'Connor said.

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