New Zealand, China's Taiwan trade pact to enter into force next month

Date : 2013-11-21  | From : Xinhua

The New Zealand government on Wednesday welcomed the announcement that the Economic Cooperation Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of China's Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei) will come into force on Dec. 1.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said the agreement, known as ANZTEC, delivered complete removal of tariffs on 99 percent of New Zealand 's current exports to Chinese Taipei, and 100 percent within 12 years.

"New Zealand exporters will benefit immediately from preferential tariff access, giving them a key competitive advantage in an important and affluent market of 23 million people, " Groser said in a statement.

The agreement would lead to tariff savings of almost 40 million NZ dollars (33.37 million U.S. dollars) on current trade.

"Once the agreement is fully implemented tariff savings will reach 75 million NZ dollars, based on current trade. But given trade can be expected to increase, those savings are likely to be even higher," said Groser.

Virtually all New Zealand dairy exports, including milk powder, cheese and butter, and all New Zealand apple, cherry and wine exports would be duty-free on entry into force.

ANZTEC was the first agreement of its type to include substantive chapters on trade and labour, trade and environment, and indigenous people. It included a commitment to immediately liberalizing 132 environmental products deemed to support green growth and sustainable development objectives.

ANZTEC also called for the expansion of existing cultural and economic linkages between New Zealand's indigenous Maori and the aboriginal people living in Chinese Taipei, in terms of indigenous arts, culture and tourism.