Historic Trade Deal Signed

New Zealand and the United Kingdom have overnight signed a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that unlocks unprecedented access to the UK market and accelerates New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery, say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor.

“This is a gold-standard free trade agreement. Virtually all our current trade will be duty free from entry into force, including duty-free quotas for key products like meat, butter and cheese, helping to accelerate our economic recovery,” Ardern said.

“The deal will boost our GDP by up to $1 billion, supporting business and jobs across the economy.”

It’s estimated New Zealand goods exports to the UK will increase by over 50 percent through the agreement.

“Our largest export to the UK is wine – approximately $500 million. Overnight $14 million of wine tariffs will evaporate. New Zealand’s honey exporters will no longer face a $16 duty for every $100 worth of honey they send to the UK,” continued Ardern

“Our dairy and red meat sectors will, for the first time since the 1970s, have tariff-free access that will grow through significant quotas until being fully liberalised. This is a commercially meaningful and excellent deal.”

The UK was New Zealand’s seventh largest trading partner pre-COVID, with two-way trade worth $6 billion to March 2020.

Kiwi Wine Industry Reacts

“The agreement is very positive for the New Zealand wine industry. This will help remove technical barriers to trade, and minimise burdens from certification and labelling requirements. It will also support future growth in the market, and encourage exporters to focus on the UK,” expressed Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The agreement will reduce trade barriers on New Zealand wine exports to the UK, which will make a big difference for many within our industry. We thank Ministers and officials for their support, and conduct of negotiations in challenging circumstances due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

The FTA also includes commitments on the movement of business persons, making it easier to do business in the UK.