NZ and Korea complete Free Trade Agreement

36fbbb74257a657705acNegotiations over New Zealand’s free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea concluded this week. The agreement will eliminate 48 per cent of tariffs on current New Zealand exports, saving an estimated $65 million in the first year of implementation.

Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination for goods and services and eighth largest import source of goods and services, with total two-way trade of $4 billion in the year ending June 2014.

Prime Minister John Key welcomed the news, saying “The FTA will put New Zealand exporters back on a level playing field with competitors from Korea’s other FTA partners, such as the United States, Chile and the European Union.”

Currently exporters to Korea pay $229 million a year in duties.  Under the FTA, New Zealand exporters will save an estimated $65 million in duties in the first year alone.

“In July 2013 when President Park and I met at the Korea-New Zealand Summit, we committed to concluding the FTA.  It is very pleasing that this has now been achieved. New Zealand and Korea have a long history of working together, dating back to the Korean War.  The FTA will enhance our already strong relationship and will set the scene for an even closer relationship in the future,” says Mr Key.

Now that the negotiations have been concluded, the FTA will next go through a legal verification and translation process, before it can be signed.

Find out more about the FTA here.