By Stuart Condie
SYDNEY–New Zealand has concluded negotiations for a free-trade deal with the European Union, eliminating tariffs on exports including wine, manuka honey, apples and most seafood.
The deal provides duty-free access on 97% of New Zealand’s existing exports to its fourth-largest trading partner after China, Australia and the U.S.
Goods and services worth more than 17.5 billion New Zealand dollars (US$10.93 billion) passed between New Zealand and the EU in 2021.
New Zealand said the agreement increases the amount of beef that it can export to the 27-nation bloc eightfold and will remove about NZ$110 million in total annual costs for the country’s exporters when fully implemented by 2035.
Almost 75% of New Zealand exports are now covered by a free trade agreement, up from about 50% in 2017, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The agreement could increase export annual revenue by NZ$1.8 billion from 2035, she said.
“It’s a strategically important and economically beneficial deal that comes at a crucial time in our export-led Covid-19 recovery,” Ms. Ardern said.
The EU and New Zealand negotiated the deal over 12 rounds of talks started in 2018.
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