Joseph Micallef writes for Troy Media - CANZUK International was formed to promote a European Union-like agreement for the free movement of citizens, free trade and foreign policy co-ordination between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom.
NDO – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on Auckland to further expand its cooperation with Vietnam, especially in terms of economy and trade, in the hope of doubling two-way trade between Vietnam and New Zealand in the time ahead.
Rob Merrick writes in The Independent that the chief civil servant at Liam Fox’s department has acknowledged Britain could suffer a “loss of trade” with around 40 countries on Brexit day, with existing deals in doubt.
Beijing-based economist Rodney Jones argues in an article on Newsroom today, New Zealand should have a robust debate about its relations with China under President-for-life Xi Jinping, and should be less afraid of any reaction in China to that debate.
A "Pacific reset" for New Zealand's foreign policy is on the way, with Jacinda Ardern leading a delegation around the Pacific this week to hear about the big issues facing the countries. Sam Sachdeva writes for Newsroom about the Government's motivations for wanting to up its game.
Feb 28, 2018 - In many ways, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s first foreign policy speech was as much about what she didn’t say as what she did. Sam Sachdeva, Newsroom, reports on the main takeaways from Ardern’s address.
Feb 27, 2018 - Fonterra is breaking new ground in South Asia’s rapidly growing dairy market, with the signing of a new distribution agreement that will make Anchor available to millions more consumers in Bangladesh.
Feb 22, 2018 - Air New Zealand has today announced it will start operating non-stop flights between Auckland and Taipei from November 2018. The airline will fly up to five times a week between Auckland and Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport from November, with NZ77 departing Auckland at 10:35am and arriving in Taipei at 4:50pm local time. NZ78 will depart Taipei at 6:30pm local time, arriving in Auckland at 10:20am+1.
Espionage episode centred on Soviet’s sighting New Zealand meat export price schedule. During the Cold War New Zealand’s trade with the Soviet Union ran hot. With the thaw and the aftermath of the Cold War this trade started to freeze over.
HomeGeneralFood & drink export sales soar in Brexit boost Feb 12, 2018 -UK (STL.News) Overseas sales of UK food and drink continued to soar last year, with record exports of over £22 billion demonstrating a clear desire for British taste, quality and high standards around the world. UK food and drink businesses are now selling their products to 217 markets – with sales of milk & cream increasing by 61%, salmon by 23% and pork by 14%.
Feb 04, 2018 - A new partnership has been announced between New Zealand and the State of Himachal Pradesh under the Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Development Project which targets smallholder farmers in northern India.
Feb 03, 2018 - The $2 million Seminis Onion Breeding Station has been officially opened in Pukekohe, New Zealand, this week.The world-class facility housing state-of-the-art sheds, crop covers and irrigation systems, represents the Seminis global mid-day onion breeding program, supporting key markets including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil.
Jill Netzel writing for FreshPlaza - Zespri opened its North American offices in 2017 and launched SunGold Kiwifruit. They said the launch was met with remarkable success due to customized programs, regional market development managers, and strong consumer and retail marketing campaigns. Within the kiwifruit category, Golden kiwifruit drove the category dollar gain with sales increasing 125 percent for the 52-weeks ending 12/03/17. Zespri’s SunGold Kiwifruit led the growth and represents 80 percent of the Golden kiwifruit category with 27.8m lbs. sold to establish a new sales record.
A rather enlightening article posted on engineering.com by Roopinder Tara that has attracted a lot of interest. While the U.S. dawdles with much needed domestic infrastructure upgrades, China is already engaged in a project so massive that it will tilt the Earth in its favor. The trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI) is a plan for a web of transportation routes (road, rail, shipping lanes, more—all leading to China) that will be created or expanded over the next 30-plus years. The BRI’s main purpose is to facilitate trade. China, the world’s leading producer of exports, no longer wants to rely on slow moving boats to move its goods out.
Nafta friction is behind renewed Canada participation Canada’s stated determination to renew its participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership threatens to introduce a pack of wolverines into its own never-tranquil milking parlour. Canada’s dairy industry is the world’s most fiercely protected Deputy New Zealand prime minister Winston Peters has already hinted that Canada’s renewed enthusiasm for the Trans Pacific scheme has much to do with the North America Free Trade Agreement.
Jan 24, 2018 - The Indian market for avocados currently consists of some Indian produce and a major share of New Zealand Hass avocados. Thanks to promotions and in-store sampling, Indian consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of Hass avocados. Therefore, demand for New Zealand avocados is increasing. The Indian importer IG International specialises in the marketing of New Zealand Hass avocados. The company is also going to introduce new varieties with different packaging formats from Peru. Peruvian avocados are necessary to continue the momentum of the New Zealand season, which will soon be coming to an end. Like the avocados from New Zealand, the Peruvian avocados belong to the Hass variety. The Peruvian Hass avocados differ from those from New Zealand with regards to different ripening stages and a cheaper price. The Peruvian season allows IG International to ensure a year round supply of avocados. As soon as the Peruvian season ends, the New Zealand season will commence. "The main customers of IG International are supermarkets, restaurants and hotels. The category for avocados is increasing year by year. IG currently holds a market share of 42% in the market for avocados," says Shubha Wadhawan, CCO,IG International Pvt. Ltd. "Most avocados are consumed in the western regions of India, followed by the North and South, though avocado consumption is on the rise in the South as well. Due to the price of avocados, most consumers belong to the upper middle class," she added. "Not withstanding the strong demand for the Avanza New Zealand Avocado throughout Asia, we remain committed to our distribution partnership within India and the growth of the category. These are exciting times for the avocado within India. It is our desire is to build a strong brand positioned on quality and the versatility of this product to an increasingly health conscious consumer,” says Tony Ponder of Avanza, the New Zealand company that supplies the avocados to IG International. Godrej Nature’s Basket has been India’s pioneering food destination from more than over 100 years. "We believe in creating lasting experiences and go an extra mile to serve our customers better. To make their journey an enjoyable one, we make sure to give them the best quality avocados, sourced from IG International. Avocado is the best selling category at our stores. We look forward to the Peruvian season to ensure the round year supply," says Avinash Tripathi, Buying and Merchandising Head, Godrej Nature’s Basket. Visit IG International at Fruit Logistica: Hall 7.2a A-05 | A FreshPlaza release || January 23, 2018 |||
Jan 17, 2018 - Fonterra has launched a new fresh milk product in China in partnership with Hema Fresh, Alibaba’s innovative new retail concept which combines traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping with a digital experience. The new Daily Fresh milk range is now available in Hema’s 14 stores in Shanghai and Suzhou in 750mL bottles, sourced directly from Fonterra’s farm hub in Hebei province. The product boasts unique product labels to match each day of the week in order to emphasise freshness, with stock being replenished overnight ready for each new day.
Jan 15, 2018 - The Consumer Technology Association has identified the 13 most innovation countries. The Association is an American standards and trade organisation that represents the $351 billion U.S. consumer technology industry.
Jan 12, 2018 - Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, completed a year of strong growth in 2017. The air cargo carrier’s robust performance, set against the backdrop of a resurgent global air cargo market, was underlined by the introduction of specialised customer focused air transportation solutions across a number of industry verticals and by continued investment in infrastructure.
Dec 20, 2017 - “The Brexit and the European Plastics Converting Industry” has been published jointly by the British Plastics Federation and the European Plastics Converters Association.Brexit A year and a half have passed since the Brexit referendum, and following months of negotiations, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker announced that “sufficient progress” has been made to allow the beginning of the next phase: the talks about the future relationship between the EU and the UK. In the light of these developments, the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) and the British Plastics Federation (BPF) have drafted a joint position paper, emphasising the need to develop a deep and comprehensive agreement that eliminates customs and minimises possible non-tariff barriers. In a joint statement, Alexandre Dangis, EuPC managing director and Philip Law, BPF director-general, said: “In the interest of the European plastics converting industry, we ask the European Commission and the British Government to avoid any disturbances of the current trade with plastics and plastic products between the UK and the EU, especially in the second phase of the negotiations on possible sector trade issues.” The BPF and EuPC stressed that plastics is an international business and the UK is the most important trade partner of the EU27 for manufactured plastic articles. In 2016, the EU27 exported goods with a trade value above €6.6bn to the UK. The same applies the other way around, in 2016, the intra EU exports of the UK amounted to over €4.5bn, which is 68% of the UK’s total plastic products exports. Additionally, there is considerable ownership of UK plastics businesses by EU companies from other member states and vice versa. They added that restrictions to the free movement of labour could worsen the already existing shortage of qualified personnel that the European plastics converting industry is facing, and legal differences in the highly regulated plastics industry could become major barriers to international trade and investments. The EUs flagship programme to create a circular economy can only be addressed in conjunction with the UK as a partner with the EU. The major risks of a hard Brexit include the imposition of customs duties and other non-tariff barriers such as regulatory barriers or custom checks. Any of those barriers would have negative impacts on the highly integrated plastics converting industry. Therefore, the BPF and EuPC strongly believe that a temporary or permanent agreement should include: The confirmation of duty-free trade between the EU27 and the UK. Mutual recognition of regulatory procedures and standards, especially REACH regulation. Customs procedures that are as efficient, simple and fast as possible. More detailed information is available in the full joint position paper that can be found on the EuPC Website | Source: packagingnews.co.uk || December 20, 2017 |||
Dec 15, 2017 - A Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between New Zealand and Hong Kong Customs is a step closer following the signing of an Action Plan to further progress the development of an arrangement. Customs GM Policy, Legal and Governance, Michael Papesch signed the plan on behalf of New Zealand Customs with Assistant Commissioner (Excise and Strategic Support) Mr Jimmy Tam signing on behalf of Hong Kong Customs and Excise. “It is an important milestone for both agencies. An MRA will lead to significant benefits for exporters and importers who trade between us, and include more streamlined customs procedures and improved customer experience of border services, while also providing greater assurance that risks will be managed appropriately so legitimate trade can flow more smoothly,” says Mr Papesch. “By developing and implementing an MRA we will build a closer working relationship, which will enable our agencies to collaborate more closely in the future. “In practical terms, MRAs mean that exporters who sign up to our MRA programme, the Secure Export Scheme, will be seen as a ‘low security risk’. | SOURCE: NZCUSTOMS || December 15, 2017 |||
Dec 15, 2017 - The 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concluded today in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Going into this meeting we were apprehensive about what the membership could deliver. There’s a lot of concern in the world about where some of the big countries are heading on trade and whether the framework of rules we have for international trade is fit for purpose, now and for the future” said Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker. “We’re pretty disappointed that on agriculture, the Conference wasn’t ready to agree to cap the subsidies that major countries give their agriculture sectors, which distort world markets and disadvantage not just our farmers but subsistence farmers in developing countries. “Nor was there a willingness to implement rules to make the regulation of services more transparent, predictable and accessible. But I’m heartened that on both issues, members are keen to keep working, so the huge effort made to advance these negotiations since the last conference hasn’t been wasted. “ Minister Parker considered that some progress has been made on two environmental issues. “I believe that trade policy can contribute to global environmental solutions and sustainable development. New Zealand has a leadership role here. So I’m really pleased that yesterday, we started a dialogue to encourage the WTO to address the global harm being caused by fossil fuel subsidies. Mr Parker led the effort to deliver a Ministerial statement to the WTO on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR). Endorsed by twelve other WTO Members, the statement confirms the benefits for development, trade and the environment of fossil fuel subsidy reform. It includes a commitment by New Zealand and its supporters to bring the issue into the WTO. “We were also able to take a step toward prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies in time to meet the 2020 deadline set by Leaders’ in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6. “Fisheries subsidies are a major driver of the crisis in global fisheries. Two thirds of global stocks are overfished or fully fished. Harmful subsidies have increased and fish stocks have deteriorated. “While this week we fell short of locking down what is needed to implement SDG 14.6, members agreed that they will conclude negotiations to prohibit these kinds of subsidies before 2020. To achieve this we will need to continue negotiations toward an agreement in 2018. Interested Members including New Zealand also agreed to continue their discussions on e-commerce and how to make trade rules deliver more for micro and small exporters. “You never get everything you want in trade negotiations” said Mr Parker. “But overall, I’m optimistic about where we’ve ended up. At a time of considerable global uncertainty, the WTO’s members have re-confirmed how important the organisation and its rules are for their economies and their citizens.” | A Release from the Beehive || December 14, 2017 |||
Dec 12, 2017 - The growth in New Zealand’s primary industry exports is impressive and provides the sector a strong base to deal with the challenges ahead, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report shows the sector’s exports will grow by 8.5 per cent in 2018, to $41.4 billion. “This would be the largest annual increase since 2014 when dairy prices rose to very high levels,” says Mr O’Connor. “Growth this year is spread across all sectors and these gains are expected to be built on a more sustainable foundation.” Mr O’Connor says dairy exports are leading the way, with a forecast increase of 15 per cent to $16.8b in 2018 despite the wet spring affecting production. “Despite a decline in cow numbers, there has been some better value for exporters. The sector continues to provide a solid base for a better future. “Meat and wool exports are forecast to grow 4.2 per cent to $8.7b, with lamb prices looking really good and beef, mutton, and venison also doing very well. “The forestry sector is on pace for a third consecutive year of strong export growth with exceptional demand from China. Forestry exports are forecast to reach nearly $5.7b in 2018.” Mr O’Connor says New Zealand’s primary industries are evolving. “Our horticulture sectors are leading the charge in producing high-value products tailored to target markets overseas. This isn’t just true for kiwifruit, wine, and apples - there are also emerging opportunities for cherries, avocados, and berries. “We are also seeing a huge shift to high-value products in the dairy sector. For example, infant formula exports are forecast to exceed $1b in 2018 for the first time. UHT milk, yoghurt, and other specialty products are also doing very well. “We are a primary producing nation and it is very encouraging that the prospects for the primary industries look so bright. However, New Zealand and other primary producing nations face the global challenge of sustainability – we need to provide good quality, nutritious food for a rapidly rising global population but we must do this in a way that is sustainable. “This means placing an even greater focus on high-value production, sustainable resource use, managing the risks posed to our primary sector by harmful pests and diseases, and meeting ever changing consumer demands.” The news is also good for other sectors: * Horticulture exports are forecast to grow 5.2 per cent in 2018 with broad-based growth across the sector. Wine, kiwifruit, and pipfruit are all contributing to this growth story, and there is a high level of investment supporting further growth. * Rising prices for wild capture fisheries products and aquaculture volumes are expected to contribute to a 4.4 per cent increase in seafood exports to $1.8b. * Honey export volumes are forecast to resume growth after a dip in 2017, while exports of innovative processed foods, including dietary supplements products, are expected to resume their growth. The Situation and Outlook report is available on the MPI website at: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/open-data-and-forecasting/situation-and-outlook-for-primary-industries-data/ | A Beehive release || December 11, 2017 |||
Dec 04, 2017 - Eagle-eyed planespotters are noticing increasing visits by cargo planes to Christchurch Airport at the moment. This signals the start of the key export season and highlights the valuable contribution local producers and exporters make to the local economy. Tasman Cargo Airlines National manager Gerry Bray says the company's Boeing 757 Freighter came into Christchurch last Sunday, bringing a variety of goods to the South Island. He says it left with a range of high value fresh produce bound for Auckland, Sydney and beyond. "The B757F has a payload capability of 32,000kgs and the aircraft moved nearly 24,000kgs of Sydney-bound general and perishable cargo on the first service" he says. "The charter flight operated we operated last weekend was the first of many we hope to operate over the coming summer months," he says. "The aircraft will visit Christchurch at least weekly through December. "It signals the start of the South Island's peak perishables export production season, with air freight in high demand for all primary producers from dairy, to fresh meat, to stone fruitand more," he says. Christchurch Airport's Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Justin Watson, says in the year ended June 2017, more than 30,000 tonnes of air freight transited through the airport. "Indications already suggest a bumper season of South Island exports," he says. "Our international airline partners, including Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, China Southern Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific, are also taking freight out every day to some of the world's leading hubs, such as Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Guangzhou. "We anticipate a repeat of peak demand for high quality South Island produce for Chinese New Year, with extra flights this year taking cherries, chilled meat and live crayfish, among other things, to dinner tables across Asia." | A Christchurch Airport release || December 4, 2017 |||
United States new diafiltration ingredient ignited Canada’s secessionist milk powder keg Canada’s determination to protect its French-speaking dairy industry is emerging as the reason for its last minute defection from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty. The cause of this pre-signing ceremony pull-out is increasingly being seen as the other North American defector. This is Canada’s NAFTA partner the United States which is determined to push a new-technology milk derivative across the border into Canada.
Nov 30, 2017 - Amazon's arrival in Australia brings with it opportunities for New Zealand firms writes Wellington consultant Hamish Conway in his company, Sell Global blog. Amazon is in 11 marketplaces around the world, with 123 fulfilment centres, and buying customers in 189 countries. The States is the biggest, with the UK able to fulfil to the other 26 European countries. They’re in Japan, and China but they’re having a tough time in China. AliBaba and the WeChat Group just dominate the Chinese market, with Amazon only having something like a 5% share of the market and consistently struggling there. So, that’s all interesting, but obviously they are about to arrive in Australia. I was recently in Australia meeting with Fabio, from Amazon, who’s setting it up and running it, and they’re hiring now, looking towards a late November/December launch. Initially this is going to be a soft launch. They don’t want to over promise and under deliver around Christmas time. Certainly a Q1 start is when it’s going to be happening. But, they have been building the catalogue over the next few months. They are getting their catalogue full, so when they do launch, this is a great opportunity for New Zealand companies that want to really stamp their mark on the Australian market, using Amazon as a channel. Getting in early on Amazon, and getting on that page one should be the goal of all product selling companies in NZ. 86% of sales come from being on a page one search. Getting in first, and putting your stake in the ground and going, “right, I’m going to claim the peanut butter category on Amazon,” or whatever that category might be is going to be a huge advantage. Getting there and keeping it is far easier than coming in late and trying to claim that spot. There are all sorts of categories that’ll just be open for business. According to a recent survey, one third of Australians who shop online, which is millions of people, they have said that they will switch to Amazon. They’ll definitely be looking at Amazon when it arrives. I suspect it would be more than that once it does launch, and they start to prove their worth.Amazon is going to really change the landscape. Not only in Australia, but in New Zealand as well. They look at Australia and New Zealand as one. New Zealanders will be buying from Australia. Amazon has its own products that they sell, largely the tech products, like Alexa and Kindle. They will also buy products from you, like wholesale. So, if they like the look of your product, they’ll go we’ll buy that. They’ll pay you as little as possible, and take for as long as they can to pay you. But enough people do that because they just think that that’s the right way to go. Actually Amazon doesn’t really look after it that well, but they do it. If you look at some products on Amazon, it’ll say “Ships and sold by Amazon” even though it’s a brand you might be aware of. Or, you can be a third party seller, of which any third party sellers can go and set up their products on Amazon. The products that are currently in America don’t necessarily end up in Australia, so it’s going to be a whole lot of new products that are Australia and New Zealand centric. People from the States or from Asia will be sending products down to Australia into the Australian warehouses there for purchase. People probably still could shop in America for awhile, but once the inventory and catalogue builds up over time, as more suppliers or third party sellers put product in, that’s when it’s going to become bigger and bigger, and a really great opportunity for New Zealand and Australian businesses. What is the impact from that? If you are a retailer, a brick and mortar retailer, it’s absolutely a problem. If you are a brand owner it’s good news. Being on Amazon gives you so much free traffic, and free brand awareness. For small companies breaking into Australia, it has previously been quite a tough gig, going through the traditional approach and maybe trying to get into supermarkets or through big pharmacy chains, or whatever it might be with what you’re selling. Being on Amazon, people are searching and if you’re there then they’re seeing your brand. If you control your brand, and the distribution of it, and you’ve got your own e-Commerce store as well, Amazon is going to be a major support for that. If you’ve got products that you don’t control the distribution of then you’re in trouble. The bottom line is that it’s a huge opportunity for any business, whether they’re small and just getting going, or bigger businesses, who will need to be there, and be protecting their brand on that platform. If you aren’t selling your products on Amazon, other companies, other people, other distributors might start selling it there instead. | Source: Sell Global || November 30, 2017 |||
Nov 29, 2017 - KORU® is a new apple variety which has been grown in New Zealand for a few years now and exported to the US market. Now it is also being grown in the States and the area will increase considerably in years to come writes Nichola Watson for FreshPlaza. "We import this apple in February and March," explains Jim Allen from New York Apple Sales. "Now we are growing it in the States too. It is an excellent eating apple, a cross between the Braeburn and Fuji apples. The Fuji gives it that high flavour and sugars and the low acid Braeburn combines them together." Jim was at the Amsterdam Produce Show promoting the KORU® apple as it is also sold in Europe. "We are planting heavily in the US and have already harvested the New York and Washington state crops. We are in a group of three different marketers who have the right to market the apple for a grower's cooperative group who have the right to grow it. This year we harvested between 700 and 800 bins in New York and 1,500 bins in Washington state. Volumes will be increasing threefold each year in the States, just as they are in New Zealand." The current New Zealand production is around 160,000, by 2020 they are looking at 300,000. It is a good yielding variety and a good sized apple which colours very nicely. "We have been importing it now for 3-4 years," said Jim. "This is our second year of domestic production and KORU® is in the major retailers such as Walmart, Cosco and others. It is a hard apple which holds up very well and we are very excited about it. We think it is one of the best new apples around." US production starts in October and runs through to January, then in February and March apples are imported from New Zealand. "What we have done this year is put some of our domestic crop in storage, we expect to bring those out a month before the new season starts. New Zealand stocks will last until August - September making an almost year round supply. This is the first year that we have put a lot in CA storage, but we have a lot of confidence that the quality will still be very good, the characteristics of the apple already point to a great storage apple." | A FreshPlaza release || November 29, 2017 |||
Nov 28, 2017 - Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox today in Wellington. “Secretary Fox and I have had an opportunity to discuss a range of issues of shared interest and to reflect on the areas of our bilateral trade relationship where we may be able to do more” says Mr Parker. Minister Parker and Secretary Fox expressed commitment to maintaining maximum certainty and stability in bilateral trade and investment conditions as the UK prepares to leave the EU. This would include a seamless transition of the regulations governing bilateral trade and ensuring New Zealand will not be worse off in its access to the UK market as a result of the UK exiting the EU. “The United Kingdom and New Zealand have a long-standing, deep and close relationship that is grounded in our shared history, values, institutions, and traditions. “We are close trading partners, and maintain an ongoing dialogue to discuss trade issues, including the implications of Brexit for our existing and future trade and economic relationship” says Mr Parker. Secretary Fox and Minister Parker discussed working closely together to identify new opportunities to advance the bilateral trade and economic relationship, including laying foundations to progress towards a comprehensive, modern, high quality free trade agreement once the UK has left the EU. They also discussed respective approaches to ensuring all citizens share in the benefits from international trade, including by promoting regional development and providing opportunities for businesses of all sizes. The United Kingdom is New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner (goods and services combined), and sixth largest export market for merchandise goods. Link to Joint Statement https://www.mfat.govt.nz/assets/Trade/UK-NZ-Trade-Joint-Statement.pdf | A Beehive release || November 27, 2017 |||
Nov 21, 2017 - Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand has brokered an unprecedented partnership investment of AUD$1.14 million to support smallholder coconut growers in Samoa. The investment partnership, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Business Partnerships Platform, will expand the opportunities for Samoan coconut cream producers Krissy Co Ltd. and the Savai’i Coconut Farmers Association (SCFA). The Business Partnerships Platform boosts private sector investments with companies like Krissy Co. This partnership will enable a two-year project to increase the capacity of the supply chain producing the Fairtrade certified coconut cream Savai’i Popo, scaling up Krissy Co and Fairtrade’s impact in Samoa. “This partnership will increase the income of smallholder coconut farming households in Samoa, create new jobs, and support the development of new Fairtrade products into Australia and New Zealand markets,” says Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand. Krissy Co Ltd. and Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand, supported by the New Zealand Government, have worked together since 2012 to initiate the development of SCFA, a smallholder farmer business which achieved Fairtrade certification in 2013. This DFAT support will enable the Krissy Co Fairtrade partnership to scale up the impact achieved so far. “Together, we have pioneered Samoa’s only certified Fairtrade and organic coconut cream, and have identified opportunities for a new product line with Krissy Co. that will amplify the benefits we’ve already achieved,” says Perise Mulifusi, Board Secretary of SCFA. The partnership will support the SCFA to develop a new product line of 200-litre sized barrels of 100 per cent Fairtrade and organic coconut cream, ultra-heat treated for export, to meet current demand from the food service sector in Australia, New Zealand and other markets. “This project alone will create over 26 new jobs for Samoans and increase the income of 200 smallholder coconut farming households on the island of Savai’i in Samoa,” explains Mr Elvis Prasad, Product Development Manager at Krissy Co. Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand will oversee the implementation of project activities, including the improvement of processing facilities, business management support for coconut farmers, a tree replanting pilot programme and contributions to Fairtrade Premium investments addressing community development. “Helping Samoan farmers to grow their businesses is a vital part of our work in the Pacific. This funding will enable producers to invest in their communities and enhance Samoa’s economic future,” Ms Harriss Olson concludes. | A Fairtrade ANZ release || November 21, 2017 |||
17 Nov 2017 - Dealing with irregular bearing is a problem the New Zealand avocado industry needs to solve, according to AVOCO the nation's largest marketing company for the fruit. Martin Napper, Export Marketing Executive at Primor Produce, part of the AVOCO venture which owns the AVANZA brand, says at a time when consumption and demand is increasing strongly, the market still provides some inconsistency. "At the moment it seems that we spend one year building markets and the next apologising for short supply," Mr Napper said. "A very frustrating situation especially when demand is so strong in all of our markets and many other markets AVANZA is yet to enter, such as Taiwan and China. With larger crops expected over time a lot of research is being directed toward this (irregular bearing)." AVOCO is a joint venture marketing company between Primor Produce Ltd and Southern Produce Ltd. AVANZA is a brand of AVOCO used in markets outside of Australia, which is the major export market at around 80 per cent. It also supplies to Asian markets including Korea (7%), Japan (5%), Singapore (3%), as well as small volumes to Thailand, Malaysia, and India. Mr Napper says AVOCO volumes are half that of last year, but values are up around 30 per cent. Some reasons behind this is the lower than predicted volume from within Australia has seen the Australian market a lot firmer than expected for this time of the year, with current values usually seen in January and February when Australian volumes are at their lowest. He anticipates prices staying firm with retail prices currently at AU$3.90/piece which challenges consumption. The Export Marketing Executive adds there are plenty of positives, with higher returns and optimism in the category has seen about 1,000 hectares of new plantings over the past year, meaning there is currently a three year waiting list for trees. In addition, early forecasts are encouraging for a bigger crop in 2018 as well as China market access is close with protocols ready to be signed-off soon. This access could in time open up a big opportunity for New Zealand. "The country's avocado industry is a very cohesive industry able to adapt quickly to customer export requirements, such as nil detectable chemical MRL’s in Korea and new China protocols," Mr Napper said. "With a quality offering it is well placed to take up future opportunities for growth. Avocado continues to defy gravity with its popularity and social media interest." AVOCO/AVANZA’s share of New Zealand industry is around 64 per cent, and the company is also reporting that industry export volumes are around half of last year; 2.5million (5.5kg) trays compared with 4.8m last year. But he sees plenty of future opportunity in the medium to long term for expansion in the company's major market, to meet the rapidly growing demand across the Tasman. "There is still some industry uncertainty as to final crop volume," Mr Napper said. "In Australia we are flowing fruit to fit programmes through to late February. Australian consumption just keeps on increasing and it is predicted that with an increase in per head consumption from 3.5kg to 5kg coupled with increasing population growth they will move from the current 16 million trays to 24 million over the next 8-10 years. With seasonality of supply, a proportion of this demand will need to be supplied from New Zealand." Korea has also shown rapid growth from 250,000 trays three years ago to 500,000 last year and now fast approaching 1 million trays this year from all origins and at good value, including New Zealand, California and Mexico. Mr Napper says Korea is a good market for AVANZA as it prefers large size fruit, which suits New Zealand’s crop profile. | Continue here to read the full article published by FreshPlaza || November 16, 2017 |||
16 Nov 2017 - The International Energy Agency’s new forecast that demand for natural gas will increase 45% by 2040 is a major opportunity for New Zealand, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ). “Global demand for natural gas is only going to grow because it has half the greenhouse emissions of coal. This means that producing and exporting it from New Zealand has the potential to be a win-win outcome for global emissions and for our economy,” says PEPANZ CEO Cameron Madgwick. “The report clearly highlights the role natural gas can play in reducing emissions by replacing coal in industrial processes and power generation. This reinforces the need for new exploration and development of our natural resources, benefiting New Zealand and the world. “Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is going to be a major growth industry and this is great news for New Zealand given our potential deposits. “Much of the demand is likely to come from China, India and other Asian countries. Other nations are eager to meet this demand and by the mid-2020s the United States is projected to become the world’s largest LNG exporter. “This is an export industry New Zealand can and should be a part of. It could mean more jobs, exports and earnings for the Government through royalties and taxes. “Taranaki is the only region currently producing but we know other areas have great promise. The recent report by New Zealand Oil and Gas looked at the Barque prospect off the coast of Oamaru and predicted it could generate $32 billion in taxes and royalties for the Government over the life of the field.” The International Energy Agency also forecasts that global oil demand will continue to grow to 2040. While fuel efficiency and electric vehicles will reduce use by passenger cars, other sectors such as trucks, planes and shipping will continue to drive demand. The 2017 World Energy Outlook can be found at: http://www.iea.org/weo2017/ | A PEPANZ release || November 16, 2017 |||
16 Nov 2017 - The NZ deer industry has agreed to support one of South Korea’s largest pharmaceutical companies in its plans to develop and market a product with proven health benefits based on NZ deer velvet. The Chief Executive of Yuhan Corporation Mr Jung Hee Lee, and the Chief Executive of Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ), Mr Dan Coup, this morning signed a memorandum of understanding in Wellington, witnessed by the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor and the Ambassador for the Republic of Korea, Mr Seung-bae Yeo. Mr Lee said Yuhan’s objective is to successfully develop, register and market a health food product containing scientifically validated components of New Zealand deer velvet. “This will be a world-first. In recent years a number of Korean companies have developed easy-to-consume formulations of traditional herbal products based on deer velvet, but none have commissioned supporting research in New Zealand to the same level of detail that Yuhan will do,” he said. “AgResearch and Yuhan scientists will be working together to build on existing scientific knowledge. AgResearch is recognised internationally for its knowledge of velvet processing techniques, the composition of deer velvet and the potential health benefits.” Mr Coup says DINZ and Yuhan have a shared interest in the registration of NZ deer velvet as a health food. “If this is achieved it will further strengthen the reputation of NZ deer velvet as a natural, safe and quality food ingredient in Korea.” He says DINZ will work with Yuhan to help promote the “New Zealand velvet story” and support the successful launch of its velvet products where appropriate. “The two parties may also co-fund some specific areas of research and marketing activities, but these will be subject to separate agreements.” Ms Ashley Kyung-in Chung, head of Yuhan’s food and health marketing team, said the company would be investing a minimum of $1.5 million on research with AgResearch and had budgeted for the substantial costs involved in registering a functional food claim and taking a product to market. She said Yuhan had chosen New Zealand as the source of velvet because of the country’s transparency on three fronts – the farming environment, animal welfare and the traceable and hygienic supply chain. “Yuhan is one of the most respected companies in Korea – consumers trust us and trust our partners. We travel the world looking for ingredients that are produced in systems as close to nature as possible and where animals are treated with care – that’s why we have come to New Zealand. Velvet from other countries does not have the same standards as New Zealand.” As part of its market positioning, Yuhan has also signed an agreement with Alpine Deer Group. “In our marketing we will be using images and videos of one of Alpine’s iconic high-country deer stations that will be one of our main sources of velvet. Our marketing materials will strongly reflect our connection with New Zealand as both the source of our velvet as well as the technology we are using to bring innovative velvet-based products to the market,” Ms Chung said. Background information Yuhan Corporation was established as a health company in 1926 by Dr Ilhan New. Today it is one of South Korea’s largest pharmaceutical companies, formulating and marketing high quality and innovative health products. Yuhan’s 2016 sales turnover was approximately US$1.18 billion. Approximately 9% of its revenue was reinvested into research and development. Yuhan’s mission is to create a balanced portfolio of health food products and supplements from the most natural sources for every life stage. Yuhan has been awarded the most respected company title in South Korea for the last 14 consecutive years (2017). Yuhan has 220 highly trained scientists involved in product development and commercialisation. For more information on Yuhan Corporation, refer to www.yuhan.co.kr Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) is a marketing authority established by the Deer Industry New Zealand Regulations 2004 pursuant to the Primary Products Marketing Act 1953. Functions of DINZ relevant to the MOU with Yuhan are: a. to promote and assist the development of the deer industry in New Zealand b. to assist in the organisation and development of the marketing of products derived from deer c. to assist in the development of existing and new markets for products derived from deer. DINZ works closely with New Zealand’s leading Crown Research Institute, AgResearch, and has a joint venture partnership with AgResearch called Velvet Antler Research New Zealand (VARNZ). For more information on DINZ, refer to www.deernz.org | A DeerNZ release || November 16, 2017 |||
14 Nov 2017 - Portland’s year-long effort to attract regular liner services back to Oregon’s only container port took an important step forward Monday with the announcement that Swire Shipping will initiate a monthly service that will carry truck exports to Australia-New Zealand and containerized imports from Asia. “It’s a first step, but a critical first step,” said Keith Leavitt, Portland’s chief commercial officer.” He added, “This is important to us because we have to demonstrate to the trans-Pacific that Portland is back to work. In addition to its thriving breakbulk and bulk services, Portland for years was an important gateway for containerized exports from Oregon and western Idaho and imports of consumer merchandise, primarily from Asia. At its peak, Portland handled about 340,000 TEU a year. Portland in 2012 began to experience labor problems when the International Longshore and Warehouse Union became engaged in a jurisdictional dispute with another union. That event escalated into a bitter, three-year confrontation between the ILWU and ICTSI, operator of Terminal 6 at the time. Productivity plunged as the ILWU engaged in work slowdowns that caused Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, and Westwood Shipping to end their liner services. ILWU officials in Portland accused ICTSI, an international terminal operator based in the Philippines, of running Terminal 6 as a “third-world” operation. Bill Wyatt, the port’s executive director at the time, said the union was upset because when ICTSI took over operation of Terminal 6 in 2010, it began to pull back on wasteful and inefficient work practices that had been common for the many years that Portland managed the terminal as an operating port. Leavitt said port managers the past year have had a number of meetings with the ILWU locals and they are confident that a return of shipping services will be greeted with improved productivity. “I feel like we’re in a good spot,” he said. Swire Shipping, which is based in Singapore, will be in charge of handling containers at Terminal 6 when the service begins operating in January. Leavitt said Swire has no presence in Portland and may contract with a stevedore to discharge and load containers. The port will continue to contract with Harbor Industrial Services for the breakbulk stevedoring work. Port authority staff have been working with the ILWU to get the cranes and other cargo-handling equipment back into good working order, he said. As a river port with draft limitations, Portland is unable to accommodate the mega-ships of 10,000-TEU capacity and greater that are common today at West Coast ports. Nevertheless, Portland is a good gateway for north-south services and niche carriers that do not operate mega-ships, Leavitt said. The base cargo for the new service will be trucks manufactured in Oregon by Daimler Trucks North America. Portland was once a profitable port for importers of containerized merchandise destined for importers in the region. Importers and exporters have been shipping most of their cargo the past two years through Seattle-Tacoma. The new service will be triangular, carrying mostly non-containerized cargo and trucks from Portland to Australia and New Zealand. The vessels will steam to China and South Korea and will load containerized imports for Portland. | A joc.com release || November 14, 2017 |||
13 Nov 2017 - Recent changes to the TPP agreement, now called CPTPP, appear to be a step forward, particularly with the potential removal of some of the more controversial parts, such as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses. Yet, we need to remind ourselves that the primary target of these FTAs is the reduction of tariffs, providing benefits to our primary commodity exporters, but little relief to our high value manufacturers, who frequently encounter obstacles to free trade in the form of non-tariff barriers. “Non-tariff barriers are the ‘dirty little secrets’ rarely written into trade agreements, but a matter of daily practice far away from glamorous trade talks. And probably, just as harmful to local manufacturers is the almost complete lack of enforcement of product standards in our domestic markets, allowing imported goods to trade on a price advantage. Not to mention government procurement practices that in most cases pay lip service only to the principle of giving local manufacturers a fair chance, says Mr Dieter Adam, CE, The Manufacturers’ Network. “The removal of some of the contentious parts of the previous agreement is a positive move from the Government, giving the eventual agreement broader support in New Zealand. However, we know from past experience that the really hard work starts once the agreement comes into force, in working to remove the non-tariff barriers that form the biggest challenges for high-value manufacturers making the most of the markets involved, says Mr Adam. “Quality trade agreements are a vital component of improving our export competitiveness, especially when non-tariff barriers that effect manufacturers are properly addressed. We cannot ignore the fact, however, that in spite of a string of recent FTAs, such as the China and Korean FTAs, the share of exports in GDP has been dropping over the past decade, rather than growing by 25% - the goal the previous Government had set itself not long after coming into power in 2008. As the new Government is rightly pointing out, New Zealand’s future prosperity can only be secured by significantly growing our exports of high-value products and services. And one of the key preconditions for that lies in improving our productivity, which has lagged through successive governments. Improving productivity and thus increasing our ability to create high-value goods and services is where the new Government should focus. “The other critical enabler to a more balanced approach to growth in our economy is a more favourable and fair exchange rate, especially against the Australian Dollar, given that Australia is a key market for our manufacturing exports. And in that context comments made by the Acting Governor of the RBNZ, Grant Spencer, at the November MPS press conference that “We’re happy with this [the current] level of our currency, it’s in the vicinity of fair value” are certainly not helpful and point to a change from recent RBNZ statements under Graeme Wheeler, setting around 60 cents as a target rate. It will be interesting to see the response of the new Government to this new assessment of ‘fair value’ by the RBNZ. Addressing our exchange rate, which has remained significantly above trends in the previous decade, need to be part of the discussion in the upcoming review and appointment of a new Governor, said Mr Adam. | A The Manufacturiers Network release || November 13, 2017 |||
12 Nov 2017 - Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker has welcomed the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which incorporates the TPP. A Ministerial Statement has been issued today by all eleven Ministers in Da Nang, Viet Nam, which confirms the core elements of the deal are now agreed, with just four issues requiring further technical work and discussion. "My Ministerial counterparts and I also agreed this week to suspend a number of the most controversial parts of the of the original TPP in the new Agreement,” says Minister Parker. “At the same time, there will be no change to the goods market access outcomes contained in the original TPP. “This is a now an improved deal for New Zealand. “The overall outcome satisfies the five conditions that the Labour-led Government laid out for a revised TPP: • It achieves meaningful gains in market access for farmers and supports the more than 620,000 New Zealanders whose jobs depend on exports. The CPTPP will also provide New Zealand for the first time with preferential market access into Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, as well as Canada, Mexico and Peru; • It upholds the unique status of the Treaty of Waitangi; • It preserves New Zealand’s right to regulate in the public interest. We have also retained the reciprocal agreement with Australia, which is the source of 80 per cent of our overseas investment from this new grouping, that ISDS clauses will not apply between our countries. We continue to seek similar agreements with the other countries in this new Agreement. In addition, the scope to make ISDS claims has also been narrowed; • The Pharmac model continues to be protected. Further improvements now achieved include suspension of patent extensions which could have increased the cost of medicine to the government; and • The ability to control the sale of New Zealand homes is being preserved by separate legislation in New Zealand. “New Zealand will now be focused on working together with our partner countries toward signature, including on the four specific items to be finalised by the date of signature of the new Agreement. “I expect negotiators will need to meet again in the next few months to take this forward. “In the meantime, I want New Zealanders to have the opportunity to understand what has been agreed and what it means for them, their families and their country, before anything is signed or ratified. “Like all free trade agreements, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will scrutinise the CPTPP and Parliament will consider the necessary legislative changes needed to give effect to the agreement.” Notes: The CPTPP was negotiated between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Viet Nam, and New Zealand. The four remaining specific items to be finalised by the date of signature are included at the end of the list of suspended provisions.Beehive.govt.nz | A beehive release || November 11, 2017 |||
9 Nov 2017 - New Zealand’s exports in semi-processed casings are set to resume in the next few weeks following successful talks between New Zealand and China. Semi-processed casings are thin tubular cases used as sausage skins. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says trade discussions have been successful. “The Ministry for Primary Industries and Chinese authorities have successfully completed talks to enable exports of semi-processed natural casings from New Zealand to China to resume. “In 2013, New Zealand voluntarily suspended exports in semi-processed casings in response to discussions with Chinese authorities about the processing steps for these casings. "New Zealand was able to provide information to Chinese authorities and work with them on revised certification requirements to enable trade to resume next month,” says Damien. “International trade is built on good working relationships between countries and I’m pleased that trade in semi-processed casings will resume soon. “Natural casings from New Zealand have traditionally been in high demand in China. “New Zealand currently exports fully processed casings to China. Access for semi-processed casings will provide industry with opportunities to increase export value and returns. “China will be a significant market for our semi-processed casings, with exports expected to exceed $100 million. “This progress is further demonstration of the positive relationship New Zealand shares with China."
8 Nov - Auckland's largest trade delegation, totalling almost 100 delegates from 70 businesses, is convening in southern China for talks on growing the regional economy. Also taking part in the Tripartite Economic Alliance Summit from Wednesday to Friday is host Guangzhou and Los Angeles. "Businesses clearly see the advantage of interacting with our two sister cities at the summit," said Mayor Phil Goff, who is leading the Auckland delegation. "Each are gateway cities to two of the most important and powerful economies in the world." Mr Goff, Guangzhou Mayor Wen Guohui and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell will be among 830 representatives attending. The Tripartite Economic Alliance, signed in November 2014, is designed to increase economic, trade and investment opportunities for local businesses. "The summits provide real economic value and jobs to Auckland with deals ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars sealed as a result of the past two events," Mr Goff said. Although Guangzhou will be the last of three summits, the parties have agreed to extend the relationship for three more years with opportunities for interaction outside the formal summit process. | An NZN release || November 8, 2017 |||
8 Nov - Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker says the Government will not shrink away from New Zealand’s leadership role on free trade - but it must be on our terms. Before heading to Apec, Parker spoke to Sam Sachdeva, Newsroom's Foreign Affairs and Trade EditorNewsroom's Foreign Affairs and Trade Editor about taking on “the excesses of globalised capital” and avoiding a public backlash. Befitting his status as one of Labour’s policy wonks, David Parker has been handed an array of challenging roles. The economic development and environment portfolios, both areas where the Government has some ambitious plans, would be challenging enough, with the Attorney-General position adding more work again. Yet Parker’s toughest role may be as Trade and Export Growth Minister, where he will be tasked with satisfying the scepticism of supporters regarding free trade deals while placating exporters and the business community. Early signs have been positive, with a ban on foreign buyers fulfilling Labour’s pre-election pledge without jeopardising TPP talks and existing trade deals (with the exception of Singapore). Yet tougher obstacles may lie ahead. FTAs 'sexy' but not enough Under the previous National government, trade ministers Tim Groser and Todd McClay made a virtue of signing New Zealand up to as many free trade agreements as possible. The Trade Agenda 2030 strategy, unveiled by McClay earlier this year, set a target of having 90 per cent of New Zealand’s exports covered by FTAs. Parker is less convinced, saying of FTAs: “They’re sexy but they’re not the be-all and end-all.” “Exports could go down and you could still meet that [90 per cent] target - FTAs are not the driver of investment in the new products and services that we need to sell to the world.” Continue here to read the full article on Newsroom || November 8, 2017 |||
A free trade agreement (FTA) between India and New Zealand has stalled, with one official describing the deal as surviving on “life support” write Shane Cowlishaw and Sam Sachdeva for Newsroom While the focus is currently on the looming TPP deal and how that will be affected by New Zealand’s decision to ban foreign property buyers, it had been hoped some progress could have been made towards a deal with India, the world’s second most populous country. Last year, then-Prime Minister John Key visited India and after meeting his counterpart Narendra Modi said great progress had been made. "They were the most forward-leaning statements around a free trade agreement we've heard from the Indian government. (Modi) wants to make progress relatively rapidly and he wants it to be comprehensive," Key said at the time. "Prior to coming here we weren't really going anywhere on the FTA - now you've got some very clear direction." Despite that direction, no progress appears to have been made in the year since. Several diplomatic and trade officials spoken to by Newsroom in India said there had been no movement and work was barely sputtering along on “life support”. Dairy was the issue, with Indian businesses wary of letting New Zealand into the market and little chance of a change in stance. A more plausible scenario was working towards a bilateral or multi-country deal involving Sri Lanka, and sending New Zealand goods to India through the close neighbour which had its own FTA with India. Speaking to Newsroom in New Delhi, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, Joanna Kempkers, said there had been 10 rounds of negotiations between the two countries but admitted the deal was on a “slow boil”. “It would be fantastic for New Zealand and it’s one of our key objectives but we’re realistic to the difficulties of that because, while New Zealand ourselves might not be a problem, we do have some sensitive sectors, dairy being one of them.” While there were some “commonalities” between the New Zealand and Indian industries, there were areas where New Zealand could be of particular value, she said. CONTINUE HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON NEWSROOM || NOVEMBER 3, 2017 |||
2 Nov Ministers from APEC member economies are stepping up their push to salvage the majority of the world’s dwindling forests and the livelihoods of millions of people that depend on these resources as consumer demand in the region surges. Ministers meeting in Seoul launched growth-friendly actions for realizing their ambitious goal of increasing forest cover by at least 20 million hectares by 2020 across APEC. Together, APEC economies account for half the world’s forests and 80 per cent of global timber trade. A viable step towards mitigating climate change, the move sets the tone for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang on 6-11 November that will aim to improve trade-driven growth in the region and the sustainability and equity of its economic and social outcomes. “The huge increase in the middle class in APEC made possible by greater connectivity and trade is driving a consumption-led growth recovery but also putting pressure on high demand resources like wood and timber products,” explained Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “APEC economies are enacting measures to boost legitimate trade flows that weed out illegally harvested wood before they hit consumer markets and undercut legal producers,” Dr Bollard continued. “Eliminating price distortions caused by illicit timber could have a major impact on forest preservation and the large numbers of jobs they support.” Ministers are focused on raising governance and transparency standards among APEC economies for the trade of timber and wood products such as lumber, paper, flooring and furniture, in coordination with Interpol, industry and conservation groups. This includes building on work administered by the APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade to enhance customs inspections of timber and wood products at borders, implement timber legality methodologies and establish efficient lines of communication with law enforcement agencies. Parallel measures to be taken forward by APEC economies center on facilitating sustainable forest management practices and community support needed to help forests re-germinate and promote emerging business and employment opportunities. “The growth potential of sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare and tourism depends in no small part on forest resources in APEC,” concluded Dr Bollard. “The progress of efforts to create sustainable supply chains could go a long way to ensuring the future of the region’s forests.” The Seoul Statement endorsed at the conclusion of the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry outlines the actions to be advanced by APEC member economies towards this objective. | An APEC release || November 1, 2017 |||
Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) believes there is an opportunity for new economic investment projects such as a $1 billion per annum Regional Development (Provincial Growth) Fund, following the change in government. Elections were held last month, with the National Party replaced by a coalition between Labour, NZ First and the Green party - to be led by Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister. HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman admits while it is still early days and there is not a lot of detail around changes to policy and law yet, he says there are some opportunities surrounding regional development Matthew Russell writes in FreshPlaza. "We have made it very clear that we want to work with the Government and be consulted as policy and law changes that affect horticulture growers are developed - and so far, there is every indication this will happen," Mr Chapman said. "A change in Government after nine years, and particularly the make-up of the new Government as an agreement between three separate and quite different parties led by the Labour Party, will undoubtedly have impacts on horticulture. We are aware that growers have concerns about some of the policies that the new Government has posed. It is our job to give voice to those concerns through the policy and law making processes as we represent growers in Wellington. We will continue to do this and have established some good connections with key Ministers." One of the big changes to be announced so far by the new government is the scrapping of the Primary Industries portfolio, to be separated into Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture. HortNZ says while exact details on how this will work are yet to emerge, the decision could have some positives and negatives. "We welcome increased focus on the portfolios that cover horticulture, particularly biosecurity and food safety," Mr Chapman said. "We do have some concerns about some of the pan-industry funds continuing as the Primary Growth Partnership and Sustainable Farming Fund are vital to science and innovation being developed to keep New Zealand horticulture up with the rest of the world, and preferably ahead at the cutting edge. We would want to see some capacity in policy and law development to be inclusive of all the primary industries, which has been the advantage of the Ministry for Primary Industries." He added he also has some concerns over Select Committee Inquiries (the coalition agreement has one into Biosecurity), as well as dismantling and rebuilding government departments has the potential to reduce productivity and slow down progress. One piece of legislation he does not want delayed is the Green Party's Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill 2016 which went through its first reading and was passed through to Select Committee prior to the election. The Select Committee is due to report back, which means it soon could be passed into law. Another change Prime Minister Ardern made was to the Trade portfolio, which was expanded to include Export Growth, and HortNZ says retaining the current market access, while opening up new markets is critical to trade. "We would want to see a continuation of free trade agreements, tariff reductions and the elimination of non-tariff barriers," Mr Chapman said. "Horticulture has a number of crops trying for access to the important Chinese market and we are certainly prepared to follow an “aspirational” path and work with the Government on export growth in our sector. (But) We have some concerns around restriction of foreign investment and the impact that might have on driving research and development and innovation." Mr Chapman is pleased to see that the water tax appears to be off the table, but is mindful that improving fresh water quality is going to be a strong focus and it is likely that action in this area will begin within the first 100 days when there is impetus for the new Government to shape up on its election promises. While he says plans to increase the minimum wage over the next three years have all sorts of implications, including the consequence that all other wages will have to go up accordingly, creating a concern for small and medium sized businesses. HortNZ has also been ramping up its ongoing calls for a national food security policy for the country, following mooted plans by Infrastructure New Zealand to grow a satellite city in Pukekohe housing 500,000 people. Mr Chapman last week took to several national television programmes, and other media platforms to advocate for the sector and wants the government to take action. "We have indicated to the new (Agriculture) Minister Damien O’Connor that this is something we want to see progress under the new government," Mr Chapman said. "The basis of this policy is to ensure an ongoing supply of New Zealand grown fresh fruit and vegetables for New Zealanders to eat. With rapid urban development in many parts of New Zealand, we are concerned local interests will surpass the interests of a national food supply, with prime growing land being lost to housing and infrastructure. There needs to be a wider national interest view over the top of all the local government decision-making."
DUBAI, 24th October, 2017 (WAM) -- Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of Dubai Economy, in partnership with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, DIEDC, conducted the first-ever Islamic Economy trade mission to New Zealand, comprising business leaders and government officials, who sought to strengthen the emirate’s position in the global trade for Sharia compliant products and services. With a low population and a food-export-driven economy, New Zealand is viewed as a major market and potential partner in channeling trade through Dubai. The red meat industry is one of New Zealand’s major export earners bringing in more than AED15 billion annually. This accounts for 15 percent of New Zealand’s total export revenue, and 27 percent of New Zealand’s primary sector export revenue. In addition, New Zealand exports over AED3 billion worth of skins and hides from sheep and cattle, mainly to be used in the fashion industry. New Zealand is also a major dairy exporter with the sector contributing more than AED20 billion, or 3.5 percent to the country’s total gross domestic product. As an island nation, the aquaculture industry plays an important role, and seafood trade contributes nearly AED4 billion to the economy. The trade mission focused on broader areas of the Islamic Economy in New Zealand and the UAE Embassy hosted an exhibition of Emirati art works, the first of its kind in New Zealand. Saleh Al Suwaidi , the UAE Ambassador in Wellington, said, "The UAE has a natural fit with New Zealand in terms of trade, particularly since the UAE has only one percent arable land and imports a large quantity of red meat and dairy from New Zealand. Connecting with New Zealand allows the UAE to strengthen its hub-to-hub strategy of linking producer and consumer countries via the emirates." The mission hosted an important forum in association with the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. Todd McClay, the New Zealand Minister of Trade, addressed the forum and referred to the long and friendly relations between the states, as well as the growing Islamic consumer market. He emphasised the Halal sector as a potential area to enhance bilateral trade. Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said, "Today, food and beverage accounts for a little over a third of the Halal market and the real growth areas are in lifestyles and technology. New Zealand is ideally placed to allow for synergy in these growing areas." Mohammed Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai Exports, said that the Halal trade is set to grow further and mark a significant shift in the immediate future away from being a niche market segment to become mainstream. "We are already seeing signs of this as non-Muslim consumers are purchasing Halal products and services due to its natural and wholesome nature. In the financial services sector we have seen that a large proportion of the customers of Islamic banks are actually non-Muslim and this trend will continue into other business areas." | A Emirates News Agency release || October 25, 2017 2017 |||
World Top Exports founder Daniel Workman takes a look at the Global sales from kiwifruit exports by country which sees New Zealand rated No 1. Global sales from kiwifruit exports by country amounted to US$2.5 billion in 2016. Overall, the value of kiwifruit exports were up by an average 20.1% for all exporting countries since 2012 when kiwifruit shipments were valued at $2.1 billion. Year over year, the value of global kiwifruit exports appreciated by 8.7% from 2015 to 2016. Among continents, Oceanian countries (mainly New Zealand) accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported kiwifruit during 2016 with shipments valued at $1.2 billion or 47.4% of global kiwifruit exports. In second place were European exporters at 40% while 7.1% of worldwide kiwifruit shipments originated from Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean. Smaller percentages were sent from kiwifruit exporters in Asia (4.2%), North America (0.9%) and Africa (0.3%). Kiwifruit Exports by Country Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of kiwifruit during 2016: New Zealand: US$1.2 billion (47.3% of total kiwifruit exports) Italy: $475.7 million (18.9%) Belgium: $279.6 million (11.1%) Chile: $177.6 million (7.1%) Greece: $94.5 million (3.8%) Iran: $56 million (2.2%) Netherlands: $39.6 million (1.6%) France: $32.8 million (1.3%) Spain: $26 million (1%) Hong Kong: $25.6 million (1%) United States: $23.9 million (0.9%) Germany: $20.2 million (0.8%) Portugal: $14.6 million (0.6%) China: $12.9 million (0.5%) Lithuania: $7.5 million (0.3%) The listed 15 countries shipped 98.4% of global kiwifruit exports in 2016 by value. The listed 15 countries shipped 98.4% of global kiwifruit exports in 2016 by value. Among the above countries, the fastest-growing kiwifruit exporters since 2012 were: China (up 712.3%), Hong Kong (up 123.2%), Iran (up 99.2%) and New Zealand (up 41%). Those countries that posted declines in their exported kiwifruit sales were led by: Lithuania (down -62.7%), France (down -25.8%), Netherlands (down -20.9%), United States (down -14.4%) and Chile (down -13.2%). | A Wtex release || October 23, 2017 |||
As Donald Trump whips the world into a frenzy with his tweets, China is plotting a trillion-dollar global trade revamp which could change everything reads an article in The NZHerald. It's being dubbed the "New Silk Road" which could redefine global trade and mark a tipping point for a new Asian century. So far, 68 countries including New Zealand have signed up to the President Xi Jinping's "One Belt, One Road" (BRI) project, but it's left Aussie politicians divided and scratching their heads, according to an international relations expert. "I don't think the government has done a great deal of thinking about this," Australian National University's Dr Michael Clarke said. "But, I've heard from my contacts in government that there is a very definite divide between the security agencies who have strategic concerns and the departments of trade and agriculture, which are looking at BRI as a big economic opportunity for Australia." This was backed up today, with the ABC reporting that the Australian heads of the immigration and defence departments told the Turnbull Government earlier this year not to join BRI. However, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were reportedly broadly in favour of joining. Beijing's massive plans, which were first unveiled in 2013, involve the reviving of an ancient land and ocean silk trade routes. It has already spent billions of dollars on new infrastructure projects for roads, railways, ports and maritime corridors. Continue to read the full article on the NZHerald || October 24, 2017 |||
This year has seen a lot of significant changes for Rockit apples: new private equity investors, new board members and a new CEO writes Nicola Watson for FreshPlaza "It has been quite a watershed year for us," explains new CEO, Austin Mortimer. "It was time for changes within the company, the board and the founder of Rockit had different views as to the direction that the company should go in. It was determined that one side would buy out the other. The shareholder group raised the funds by introducing private equity to buy out the founder." Rockit has always been promoted as an innovative snack product, and is not to be confused with a commodity apple. "We want to define our position in the market place more clearly. We see other channels available to us other than mass retail or grocery. Small convenience stores, for example, and the "grab'n go" section of small retailers where the shelf space is more and more being given to healthy snacks. We see our two or three count tubes sitting nicely in that space alongside the hard boiled eggs and muesli bars. The tube supports the idea of it being ready to eat and of course, being an apple, it is healthy." Austin says that most of the sales just now are made with 3,4 and 5 count tubes, but they are trialling a two piece for vending machines and a one piece for airline and hotel services. He believes the packaging on the small apple will assure people that the apple is clean and fresh. "Rockit is currently grown in 9 countries and we are considering whether to plant in South Africa and Chile," said Austin. "You need to look at which markets you would serve with the production in there. Apples are mainly grown for export in those countries, Chile exports to the US and South Africa to Europe and since we already have production in both there is not a big need to grow in Chile or South Africa, although Africa is a fast growing market." 80% of Rockit apples grown are within the standard size, there are a number of diameters which cater to the majority of a standard Rockit tree. "The taste profile is also important and while there are differences between different growing regions, these are not insurmountable," according to Austin. "Most of the Rockit apples are grown for their domestic markets so consumers get a stable taste profile. It is different in markets in Asia, where we need to have several sources to get a year round supply, we hope that with strict quality control we can keep the taste as stable as possible." In Europe and North America the number of licences issued to grow Rockit apples are for a certain number of trees and the licensees are close to the limit of what they can plant. In New Zealand it is different, according to Austin, the new private equity investors are quite bullish about the opportunity and it is his intention to plant quite a bit more trees. "It is significant for New Zealand that private equity have bought into it a traditional business, particularly one which is considered high risk in terms of horticulture. They see that we are building a global brand its not just about selling apples. They obviously see a lot of potential, it just goes to show that you can add value to what was a commodity." "We have no reason to doubt the market for the Rockit apple, we have sold out every year. In 2017 we sold out 10 weeks earlier than ever before, with 40% increase in volume." The Rockit apple is on the shelves in around 29 different countries, and the next target market is Japan where they hope to start sending apples in 2018. Austin reckons that the reason the Rockit apple is popular on the Asian market is because it is very sweet and people are happy to eat a smaller apple. "The feedback we have had from our research in Japan, where you get some very big apples, and demographics tell us there are a big percentage of people who live on their own and also a lot of older people. These people do not want a big apple which they can't finish and just end up leaving most of it. Also our experience from the countries which we are already selling in, is that because it is red and very sweet and crunchy, size doesn't matter, in fact they're more accepting of the smaller apples." | A FreshPlaza release || October 18, 2017 |||
A South Waikato ginseng producer is ready to approach potential investors to increase its production and exports with the help of funding of up to $40,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). Maraeroa has 20 hectares of high value wild simulated Asian panax ginseng growing on the forest floor of its 5,550 hectare pine plantation. The group is looking to double the size of its ginseng plantation by raising capital and having a purpose designed processing factory built at Pureora. Maraeroa C Incorporation is using its MPI funding to compete an investment information memorandum and business plan for potential investors. "The economic return from ginseng will contribute to Waikato’s economic, social and cultural growth. Growing ginseng under their existing pine tree canopy has the potential to optimise Maraeroa’s return from the land for its 1,200 shareholders," says Ben Dalton, Deputy Director General, Sector Partnerships and Programmes at the Ministry for Primary Industries. "This has been a long-term investment for Maraeroa. Growing Ginseng started out as a trial for them in 2006 and they had their first commercial harvest in 2016. The growing conditions turned out to be right for them which is exciting as Ginseng is valued at more than $400,000 per hectare," he said. Maraeroa’s funding comes from MPI’s MÄori Agribusiness fund and contributes to regional economic growth. The Incorporation has started looking for potential investors with existing distribution channels to China. The company currently works with a small number of Chinese distributors and retailers who sell their products around New Zealand and in Hong Kong. Maraeroa’s Chief Executive Glen Katu said increased exporting would require additional local staff to be hired for ginseng production, processing and distribution. "We’ll need to hire more qualified and skilled local staff to handle larger product volumes and manage exports and distribution. There’s also an opportunity for further investment in research and development to expand into new ginseng product lines and build greater awareness in China about the quality of New Zealand ginseng products. "There could be some huge long-term benefits for other forestry operators by growing ginseng. Recent studies have shown that the Central North Island forests are an ideal place to grow good quality ginseng and there is demand for wild simulated ginseng in China. We want to provide sustainable revenue for our shareholders and their families while ensuring the land is handed onto the next generation in as good, or better condition than it was received," says Mr Katu. MPI’s MÄori Agribusiness team helps MÄori make the most of their primary sector assets from production and processing, through to exporting via tailored support. | An MPI release || October 17, 2017 |||
Quotas allowing imports of cheap New Zealand lamb and other goods will be shared out between Britain and the European Union after Brexit under a deal signed by both sides. Restrictions on how many products can be imported into the EU on favourable rates are set across the bloc and concerns have been raised internationally that exporters could take a financial hit when the UK quits. However, the British government has agreed with Brussels to divvy up the numbers of goods that can be brought in on low or zero tariffs based roughly on current rates. It would mean products like lamb, which are imported into the UK in higher numbers than other parts of the bloc, would continue to be traded in similar numbers. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the deal showed "real progress" and was part of the government's plans to minimise disruption to global trade. The agreement has been set out in a letter from the UK and the EU to the World Trade Organisation, which regulates international trading arrangements. No decision has been made on how long the tariff rate quotas, which have to be renewed regularly with the WTO, would be maintained in the long-term. | TheGuardian || October 12, 2017 |||
Of the top five countries writes by Pam Tipa in RuralNews, New Zealand trades with, it only has trade deals with two, an ExportNZ conference has heard. “That leaves us very vulnerable,” says trade expert Charles Finny. “We don’t have links to those markets that others do.” National trade spokesman Todd McClay had earlier pushed the case for NZ to forge ahead in doing deals with like-minded countries. Of our top five goods export countries -- China, Australia, US, EU and Japan -- we only have trade deals with China and Australia, he told the Auckland conference held on September 21. McClay says when we do trade deals we get it right and trade flows increase significantly in both directions, as has been the case with China. He says that FTA got NZ through the global financial crisis (GFC). “To continue to offer opportunities to NZ we need more trade deals.” EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed a desire to have a trade deal with NZ within two years; “that will take a lot of hard work”, McClay added. He expects this will take “three years rather than two”. NZ is one of only six WTO countries that don’t have a trade deal with EU. McClay says with the UK we are in a good space since Brexit was announced last year. UK trade secretary Liam Fox confirmed earlier this year that NZ will be first cab off the rank with Australia for new FTAs once they got through Brexit. Meanwhile, McClay says TPP11 is a high-quality deal. Continue to read Pam's full article on RuralNews || October 6, 2017 |||
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand into the United States. After analysing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that persimmons from New Zealand can be safely imported into the United States under a systems approach. A systems approach is a series of measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks prior to importation into the United States. In this case, the systems approach requires orchard certification, orchard pest control, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, and sampling. In addition, the fruit must be treated with hot water or undergo modified atmosphere cold storage to kill any leafroller moth larvae. The persimmons must also be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating that they were produced under the systems approach and were inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests. In August 2016, APHIS published a proposed rule to amend its regulations to allow the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand into the United States provided that they are produced in accordance with a systems approach. The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on October 3, 2017, and will become effective 30 days after publication on November 2, 2017. | A FreshPlaza release || October 3, 2017 |||
NZ: Hawke's Bay's Napier port considers new levy on pipfruit - A FreshPlaza release: Following increased fees, a new insurance levy has reportedly tipped local port users - across the horticultural sector, exporters, and transport companies - over the edge. Port CEO Garth Cowie said one of the fees being considered by the port was for the pipfruit sector. The port sought feedback from the pipfruit sector on the concept of a peak season reefer surcharge. "The apple industry is growing and Napier Port's infrastructure has to keep pace in order to support our growers and provide the level of service they need," he said, adding this came at a cost. Over the past five years the port had invested more than $95m in infrastructure. "We have done everything we can to keep this proposed fee to a minimum while still ensuring the pipfruit industry has the infrastructure they need for the peak export season." The number of apple exports through the port has increased from about 12,936 containers in 2008 to a record 22,205 20ft containers of apples last year. | A FreshPlaza release || October 2, 2017
The New Zealand Shippers Council is concerned that the recent announcement by Port Napier that it will impose an insurance levy charge on transport operators is the thin end of the wedge for the countrys exporters and importers. The levy came into effect on October 1 and will be passed onto exporters and importers effectively through the back door as added cost in the supply chain. Chairman of the NZ Shippers Council, Mike Knowles said it is an alarming precedent. “What we’re seeing is a levy that lands on those who have no contractual relationship with the port and therefore no ability to influence the outcome.” “In our view ports should either be absorbing those increased costs as part of normal business activity, or negotiating them with their commercial clients – the shipping lines; not imposing them on parties who have no ability to review and negotiate rates,” said Mr Knowles. Mr Knowles said the Shippers Council appreciates that the dramatic increase in insurance premiums in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake places considerable pressure on providers of supply chain infrastructure. “However, applying a levy on parties who do not have a commercial relationship with the port is not the way forward. We are extremely concerned that this precedent may be adopted by other ports and will strongly oppose any move in that direction.” The New Zealand Shippers’ Council represents the supply chain interests of major New Zealand shippers, with members across all sectors including importers, exporters, ports, freight forwarders, road and rail. Collectively members move over 60% of NZ containerised exports and a significant amount of bulk exports, imports and domestic volume. | A NZ Shipping Council release || October 2, 2017 |||
Did you know that it takes over twelve hours to fly from China to the United States? With such a large distance between them, it is not surprising that the regions differ in many ways, from culture to industry. Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete industrial parts supplier, EU Automation explains the main differences between the manufacturing markets in the United States and the Asia Pacific region. The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, that brings the Internet of Things (IoT) to industry, first began in Germany. Manufacturers worldwide aim to compete with companies by investing in the technology introduced during this period. According to the Global Competitiveness Index, manufacturing is an important industry in both the United States and Asia. America has been a manufacturing power for the majority of its history and greatly contributes to the countries’ economy. The US has also been an innovator in the sector, most notably for inspiring the second industrial revolution with Henry Ford’s ground-breaking assembly line. However, Asia is widely regarded as the manufacturing hub of the world. The largest country in the region, China, has led the manufacturing sector in the last few years and smaller Asian countries are climbing the ranks. These two regions are competing for the top position as the global leader in manufacturing, and the US is expected to overtake China to take the top spot by the end of the decade. So, what does the manufacturing sector look like in each region? Industry 4.0Both countries have embraced the changes introduced by the fourth industrial revolution. Governments in both Asia and North America have introduced policies and incentives to integrate more technology into factories. With automated systems, both manufacturing hubs can increase productivity, offering more customisable products at a lower price and reduce both waste and risk of downtime. Asian manufacturers in leading countries, such as China, were quick to embrace new technology and emerge as innovators in manufacturing. Asia has both invested and produced a high volume of robots to remain competitive. Asia installed around 689,349 industrial robotics units in 2013 and this is expected to increase to around 1.1 million by the end of 2017. Asia is known for its cutting-edge technology, investing in robots and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise industry and everyday life. Singapore is leading this innovation, introducing technology to city infrastructure to become a smart nation. In the US, automotive manufacturing is the main sector that benefits from automated assembly lines. Businesses can provide high quality vehicles that are assembled cost-effectively and efficiently. HubsAsia Pacific and North America are both large geographic areas, so it is difficult to pinpoint one specific hub. Different areas of both regions develop at different rates and contribute to the respective economies in different ways. Many Western countries outsource manufacturing labour, relying on Asia to provide the majority of goods, as labour and materials are less expensive. While China is best known for its large factories producing the majority of goods, other countries in Asia Pacific contribute to the manufacturing economy of the region. In India, for example, over 40 per cent of factory work is completed by robots. This is expected to rise to 70 per cent by 2020. India also introduced the “Make in India” initiative in 2014, investing in technology to become a leader of the Industrial IoT revolution. The FutureGovernments across Asia and the US hope to encourage economic growth by investing in automation and manufacturing. In 2011, President Obama introduced the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) to bring government, universities and industries together to invest in emerging technology and enhance the US manufacturing sector. This partnership recommends enabling innovation, securing the talent pipeline and improving the business climate to become leaders in advanced manufacturing. Some governments in Asia are also investing in automation. Made in China 2025 encourages the improvement of production in the country, to move to higher quality manufacturing. Smaller countries, such as India, Korea and Japan, are also hoping to innovate their own respective manufacturing sectors through automating the supply chain. Even though Asia Pacific and the US are separated by the Pacific Ocean, they both rely on manufacturing to support their economies. While they may embrace automation at different rates and with different technologies, it is clear that both areas will continue to be leaders in the sector. | An EU Automation release || September 29, 2017 |||
Rudolf Mulderij writes in FRESH PlAZA that demand for Kiwifruit is on the rise worldwide, but the supply has been affected by the weather. "New Zealand harvested less this campaign after a difficult growing season, with a hot winter and a lot of rain," explained a trader. Moreover, the Chilean production is also reported to have dropped, and now Italian kiwis are hitting the market and they also expect a smaller volume due to the impact of frost in certain regions and the dry summer. "As a result, the supply will be much scarcer, while the demand continues to rise," assures a trader. New Zealand: Zespri is looking for new marketsZespri, the export organization of New Zealand kiwis, is seeing strong growth this season. The SunGold continues to grow in markets like Japan and China. Moreover, their sights are set on other markets in South East Asia, India and North America. The European market is also developing well, with strong demand all year round. Japan is the biggest market this season, accounting for the export of 23 million trays. The second most important market is China, accounting for 22 million trays. The start of the season in the northern hemisphere is around the corner. The Italian volume is expected to amount to around 5 million trays, which is a notable growth. The company aims for the demand to grow faster than the supply, and that seems to be successful. As a result, priorities have to be set as far as the markets are concerned. For the coming years, significant expansions are expected in the acreage, with another 1,800 hectares in Europe and 400 hectares in New Zealand. The company is working on growth for the SunGold. Eventually, the share of green and yellow kiwis must be split 50/50. Continue here to read the full article published on FRESHPLAZA Friday 22 September 2017 |||
Regal blended with power New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade stands out as the obvious and logical destination for Winston Peters MP in the country’s pending new Parliament. It combines for Mr Peters the correct blend of high office and of practical power that he requires in the current Parliamentary re-shuffling. Under New Zealand’s proportional representation system the mix of seats and percentage vote share that his New Zealand First Party achieved leave him as the make-weight in the practical outcome of the general election.. There are two key factors that make MFAT (pronounced M-Fat) as the ministry is rather clumsily described the obvious choice. The current minister Gerry Brownlee MP holds is essentially as a caretaker whose trouble shooter role has now been amply discharged. Mr Brownlee will not complain if he is reassigned. Then there is there is the sharp end of this ministry – the trade one. Mr Peters believes that it is over focussed on the East, and notably the Middle East, and to the exclusion of markets in the NATO zone. It is this trade aspect that dovetails neatly into his recent championing of the New Zealand farmer. His Farmer First positioning was characteristically aimed at his own base. New Zealand First votes come from traditional National Party supporters who become exasperated with National’s constant tempering of its policies to accommodate the ideological wing of the Labour Party, and only to a slightly lesser extent, the Greens. The wisdom of Mr Peter’s pro-farmer stance was based on the confusion National has sown with its stance over water. The National government allowed the whole vexed picture to become hopelessly muddied between the proven danger of agribusiness effluent intruding into potable water at one end; and on the other the vogueish clamour against the export of water in any form. Mr Peters will not be an entirely welcome figure at the helm of MFAT. On its diplomatic side, the department listened to the wrong people in the matter of the outcome of the United States presidential race. It failed to give guidance correctly over the outcome with some embarrassing results. Among these in practical terms was the New Zealand temporary contingent on the UN Security Council backing the censuring of Israel, a step that alienated National’s staunch support among urban fundamentalists. Mr Peters is at home with protocol and is familiar with the Foreign Ministry. Such a role would allocate him the prestige he seeks along with the exposure to ensure that everyone sees that he has it. He will not wish to get himself tied down in one of the nuts and bolts ministerial departments of the type that will be required to implement several of his high profile announced policies. These include the referendum on the existence or otherwise of the Maori seats. Also the broader-based one on trimming the volume of members of parliament which are often viewed as proliferating. | From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Sunday 24 September 2017 |||
The New Zealand economy continued to grow solidly in the June quarter, posting a 0.8 per cent increase in GDP, taking New Zealand's growth rate for the year to 2.7 per cent, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. “Our economy continues to outperform many developed nations, underpinned by strong export and domestic demand,” Mr Joyce says. “It is still a challenging international environment, which is why we need to continue with an economic plan that is working for New Zealand.” New Zealand’s growth over the last year has exceeded that of Australia, the United Kingdom, the USA, the Euro area, Japan, and the average across the whole OECD. Growth in the quarter was across 11 of 16 industries, including: Retail, trade and accommodation (up 2.8 per cent) Manufacturing activity (up 1.8 per cent) Business services (up 1.1 per cent) Transport, postal and warehousing activity (up 3.5 per cent) Exports rose 5.2 per cent, with exports of goods posting its biggest quarterly increase in 20 years. Overall growth in the quarter was partially offset by the construction sector, which contracted 1.1 per cent in the quarter but up 6.4 per cent from June 2016. Today’s GDP figures followed on from the release of New Zealand's external accounts yesterday, which showed a current account deficit of 2.8 per cent for the June year. "This week’s economic growth statistics show that the Government’s consistent economic plan is encouraging businesses to invest and grow more jobs for New Zealanders. It is important to maintain and support business confidence if we are to continue our progress in the years ahead." | A Beehive release || September 21, 2017 |||
New Zealand company Ubco will officially unveil its newest electric farm bike on the first day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland Ubco’s 2018 dual electric drive (2X2) utility bike aims to allow farmers to ride silently alongside their herd while saving on costs and reducing environmental damage. In the past, the Kiwi company has received acclaim for previous models of the bike in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Ubco chose to unveil its new model for the first time in Ireland “due to its influential farming community and its suitability for the Irish market”. The bike reportedly produces no emissions, has no external drivetrain or combustion engine, doesn’t flood when laid on its side and weighs only 63kg. The bike is also “extremely economical”, costing less than €1/120km to run, the manufacturer claims. Commenting on the global launch, Ubco CEO Timothy Allan said: “The new 2018 2X2 is designed to take riders further than ever before, allowing them to also explore an on-road environment. There’s no compromise on power and grunt, but you also have greater control off-road when going up-hill, through mud and forest tracks, or over unsealed roads. “Aside from that, it’s whisper-quiet – so you can enjoy the environment as you ride.” Allan also claims that the near-silent running of this cross-paddock transport also creates less stress for stock, as well as maintenance costs being greatly reduced. According to Ubco, the bike’s lightweight frame and low centre of gravity also make it a safer option than a traditional quad bike. The electric bike has a range of 120km, with a charge time of between six and eight hours. It also has a top speed of 45kph. Ubco will be located in the New Zealand Pavilion at Stand 268, Row 11, Block 3 at the ‘Ploughing’ site in Co. Offaly.
Trade Minister Todd McClay says a trade agreement with Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru could be worth 10,000 jobs to provincial New Zealand and will give Kiwis unprecedented access to fast-growing Latin American markets. This comes as Mr McClay calls for public submissions on FTA negotiations with the Pacific Alliance countries. “Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru combined have 221 million consumers and a GDP of US$3.85 trillion, which is equivalent to the world’s sixth largest economy,” Mr McClay says. “This is an important market for us now, and we want the public and the business community to consider how they might take advantage of the increased opportunities for both trade and investment that will result from an FTA.” Mr McClay says increasing trade and business links with the Pacific Alliance will also advance the prospect of New Zealand serving as a trading bridge between South America and Southeast Asia. “The Government will be pushing hard for a high-quality agreement. It’s important we hear from New Zealanders about what they would like to see prioritised and progressed during negotiations, Mr McClay says” Mr McClay says negotiations with the Pacific Alliance will begin in the coming months and are expected to progress swiftly. Public submissions are due by October 16. For more information on how to make a submission, visit: https://mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/free-trade-agreements/agreements-under-negotiation/pacificalliance | A Beehive release || September 18, 2017 |||
FreshPlaza - Sep 13, 2017 | What is expected to be the first of many shipments of tamarillo pulp has left Whangarei en route to a US-based food producer and distributor. NZ Tamarillo Co-operative recently finalised a major deal with its produce destined to join Serious Foodie's product line as New Zealand Tamarillo Grill Sauce & Marinade and New Zealand Tamarillo Vinegar. Serious Foodie sells online, through farmers' markets and is distributed into gourmet supermarkets and stores across the US and Canada. More shipments will follow with the pulp from tamarillos grown in the North by the five orchards in the NZ Tamarillo Co-operative processed into pulp and vinegar concentrate here and then sent to the US in bulk. Maungatapere based co-operative director/manager Robin Nitschke said he and other members of the Tamarillo Co-operative had been working on the deal for two and a half years and are delighted to have reached another milestone. The co-operative was established three years ago to have more influence at the beginning of the supply chain by channelling all fruit through one merchant and to provide more choices to add value to the fruit at the end of the supply chain. "So it is rewarding to finally achieve this milestone," Mr Nitschke said. "The importer tells me that feedback on our tamarillo products from customers in the States is very encouraging, with the potential for rapid growth into the specialty food sector". Mr Nitschke said that after gaining recognition last year as finalists in the Artisan Food Awards, supermarkets, specialty food outlets and food service companies have been stocking the co-operative's products. | A FreshPlaza release || September 13, 2017 |||
With technology being predicted to become New Zealand's number one exporting sector, the time has come to set out the vision. CEO of the Centre for Advanced Engineering and author of the recently released book Innovate! Richard Bentley shares his thoughts on how we can speed up the process with Idealog. Professor Shaun Hendy (9 August) commented on the slow progress New Zealand has made toward the development of a technology-based exporting sector. As he reflected, the occasional successful start-up is not nearly enough. In my recent book Innovate! , I present a detailed analysis of the state of our fifteen export-focused sectors, their prospects for growth, current thinking on being innovative and how our government supports exporters. I find that amongst our advanced manufacturing sector we have a number of sophisticated exporters like Buckley Systems and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, and that there is an emerging group of exciting businesses. However, the new paradigm amongst wealthy nations is to be preeminent in advanced manufacturing - as manufacturing especially has extensive spillovers to the wider economy. As a consequence, new manufacturing technologies and processes are appearing, markets are becoming more competitive, and large multinational companies are adapting their businesses to tackle the very niche markets that our companies supply. We also have exciting but unrealised opportunities in medical technologies, ICT, textiles, and in minerals developments, but our manufactured food, agritechnology and biotechnology sectors are fragmented and underperform. Thus our emerging technology-based economy has the feel of still being in start – up mode, and this seems to be reflected in recent data that shows exports as a percentage of GDP slowly falling, why the government’s often stated goal of doubling exports has been quietly dropped, and why our productivity remains so low. So how do we address this challenge? The wealthy countries of the OECD are proactive in developing innovative, competitive and growing technology-based economies. They create environments where businesses grow through easy access to science and technology, where businesses work together and collaborate as opportunities emerge, and where resources are focused on science and technology development and transfer that’s good for business development. In contrast, and since the 1980’s deregulation of our economy, our governments have adopted a passive approach to developing an innovative economy and to the development of business. This is why we have very poor interactions between business and researchers, and very few business facing centres of technology. This dysfunctionality, which I call the technology vacuum, was first revealed in the authoritative report Powering Innovation way back in 2011, as Shaun noted, and there has been no attempts to remedy the situation. Compounding the situation has been the collapse of the manufacturing - focused CRI Industrial Research Limited from low sales. Paradoxically, we have a superb science system, led by the universities and the Centres of Research Excellence (the CoREs), and we have numerous world class scientists. However, nearly all the science research vote continues to be allocated to university scientists on the basis of best science and not to research needs informed by business. Government, having stripped itself of all its technology capability, needs to form a new Innovation Council comprising the universities, business and NZTE, to look into the situation in each of our fifteen important export sectors and to work out how government could assist them better. Each has its own issues and opportunities. These initiatives will give businesses better access to the science and technology capability in our universities, they will create environments that encourage more coordination, collaboration and innovation between export businesses, and they will deliver OECD type energised innovative environments. My preference, set out in detail in Innovate!, is to create a network of university-based technology hubs, effectively a technology – focused business facing version of the CoRE network. They would be wholly funded by government and established for example in robotics and sensing, IT for manufacturing, cyber technologies, technical textiles, agritechnology, and advanced food, to name only a few areas to illustrate. These are the technologies that underpin the development of a competitive exporting sector. I would scrap the R&D grant system as it does not create innovative firms or innovative collaborative sectors, and I would put these funds into the network. The hubs would also become the place where businesses within sectors meet, collaborate, agree sector strategies and inform research needs as occurs at the Auckland University - hosted Product Accelerator. And I would collapse the economically focussed CRIs and Callaghan Innovation into this network. Governments create innovative economies not markets. A step change in effort by our government is required to bring Sir Paul Callaghan’s dream of a sophisticated significant technology-based export sector to a reality and to reduce our dependence on commodity agriculture exports and tourism. Richard Bentley (CNZM) has worked in New Zealand industry and in the science and innovation system for nearly four decades – see his website. Innovate! Transforming New Zealand’s technology-based economy was published in August 2017 by Steele Roberts, Wellington. | An IDEALOG article | September 13, 2017 |||
Trade Minister Todd McClay says he expects the NZ-European Union Free Trade Agreement to be formally launched later this year after the European Commission and New Zealand both finalised their respective negotiating mandates. “It’s extremely important the European Commission and New Zealand have completed this next step,” Mr McClay says. “European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also announced tonight in his ‘State of the Union’ address that he is seeking approval to launch negotiations and aims to conclude the NZ-EU FTA by late 2019.” “An FTA will give New Zealand companies an opportunity to significantly increase trade with the EU.” “Two-way trade with the EU is worth more than $20 billion a year and creates thousands of jobs and opportunities for every region and city of New Zealand.” Mr McClay says the Bill English-led Government will be pushing for a high-quality, comprehensive FTA. “More than 8500 jobs are created in New Zealand by every billion dollars of exports,” Mr McClay says. “That means a deal with the EU that increases trade has the potential to create thousands more jobs for Kiwis.” The European Commission will now send its negotiating mandate to the European Council. Approval is expected later this year. | A Beehive release || September 13, 2017 |||
An award-winning online marketing campaign has helped New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) build a database of over 65,000 consumers in China. Developed for the WeChat platform, the campaign has been built around NZTE’s annual Taste NZ programme, which aims to promote New Zealand food and beverage products in a number of Asian markets. NZTE engaged United Media Solutions (UMS), a digital marketing company based in New Zealand and China, to create and run the WeChat campaign for Taste NZ in the People's Republic. “The aim of the platform was to create a group of people with the potential and interest to keep purchasing New Zealand products,” said Maxwell Shi, NZTE’s regional marketing and communications manager for Greater China. The promotion was structured around a set period, in which consumers received a Taste NZ voucher every time they purchased a New Zealand product online. That voucher included a QR code that consumers could scan using their WeChat account. Every consumer who scanned the QR code received points that could then be used while shopping for other New Zealand products. Regular competitions and prize draws were also held. The programme has built a database of 70,000 members, which NZTE and UMS have drawn on to analyse consumer insights and promote other New Zealand brands and products. “This database is our asset, and our aim is to increase this and further promote New Zealand companies and products to that database of consumers. We’ll do this by leveraging the database with incentives to buy New Zealand products,” said Shi. The NZTE team has plans to grow the programme to reach 100,000 active consumers over the next two years. The campaign recently won the Best International Social Media Campaign at the 2017 New Zealand Social Media Awards. Aiming to strengthen its position in the international arena, NZTE travelled to Hong Kong last week for Asia Fruit Logistica. The government agency helped coordinate the country’s presence at the show – alongside Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Apples and Pears and NZ Plant and Food Research – with 28 New Zealand horticulture companies exhibiting. “Most of the New Zealand companies represented here don’t have an in-market presence in Asia,” Shi told Asiafruit. “Our role is to help them connect with key markets so they can facilitate exports and grow their business.” | An Asiafruit release || September, 2017 |||
Leinster Leader - The latest in sensor technology systems, seed drills, rotary milking systems and even a dual electric drive utility bike will be on show as New Zealand agritech returns to Ireland following a successful presence at the National Ploughing Championships in 2016. The strong agricultural partnership between New Zealand and Ireland will continue to prosper as 13 leading New Zealand agricultural companies descend on Screggan for the 2017 National Ploughing Championships. Companies such as world-leading in-shed farm automation technology provider LIC Automation (Saber) and specialist seed drill manufacturers, Duncan Ag and Aitchison will return for the second year running. As well as displaying their market leading technologies, they will introduce exciting new products to the Irish market for the first time. The New Zealand pavilion will also feature some highly anticipated new additions, such as UBCO Bikes, manufacturers of dual electric drive, all terrain bikes and Waikato Milking Systems, leaders in advanced dairy technology. Under the theme of smarter farming, the New Zealand pavilion aims to grow the longstanding and successful partnership of two leading agricultural nations. Farmers visiting the New Zealand pavilion will get an exclusive insight into the efficiencies and innovations of industry-leading products and how New Zealand and Ireland are working together to continuously improve and develop on-farm systems – working smarter, not harder. Keeping in theme with smart technology, Irish farmers will be able to ‘virtually’ explore a New Zealand farm through a unique virtual reality (VR) experience. Daniel Taylor, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland says:, ‘All of the companies representing some of the best of New Zealand agriculture are delighted to be back in Screggan this year following an excellent Ploughing Championships last year. We’re looking forward to continuing to build on our relationships developed last year and further growing our partnership with Irish farmers.” “I am convinced that the shared experiences and similarities between farming in New Zealand and Ireland, coupled with the innovation our companies display, we will continue to forge a strong and mutually beneficial relationship for Irish and New Zealand agriculture,” says Mr Taylor. Companies exhibiting at the New Zealand pavilion include: * LIC Automation, a world leader in integrated and innovative ‘Saber’ in-shed farm automation and sensor technology systems with a proud history dating back to 1909; * UBCO Bikes, a newcomer to Screggan for 2017 UBCO manufacture dual electric drive, all terrain bikes for use around the yard and further afield. UBCO bikes come complete with power outlets and USB ports, as well as accessory lugs for equipment; * Duncan Ag, market leaders in the manufacturing of robust and user-friendly machinery for seed drilling and forage feeding; *Waikato Milking Systems, the third largest manufacturer globally of rotary milking systems provide advanced dairy technology options to simplify milking routines to ensure more efficient milking, better mastitis control and higher productivity; and, * Aitchison, a company with a proud 40-year history of machinery manufacturing and specialising in seed drills and spreaders whose size, flexibility and rugged construction are well suited to the Irish market. The New Zealand Pavilion will be located at stand 268, Row 11, Block 3 at the National Ploughing Championships from 19-21 September 2017, in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. | A LeinsterLeader release ||| September 12, 2017 |||
Business and community leaders from across Alabama are traveling in Australia and New Zealand this week, seeking to boost exports and strengthen trade ties in the region. The 17-member delegation kicked off a series of briefings with U.S. Commercial Service officials in Sydney, as well as appointments with area companies. Later in the week, the group will travel to Auckland, New Zealand’s primary commercial hub for a similar slate of meetings. “Alabama has strong, and growing, relationships with both Australia and New Zealand, and we want to build on those bonds,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, who is leading the delegation. “This trade mission is about helping our state companies find new markets for their goods and services, so they can create jobs and make new investments in their communities back home,” he said. Alabama exports to Australia reached nearly $298 million in 2016, rising 11.6 percent from the previous year, according to Commerce Department data. Top exports included transportation equipment as well as paper, chemicals, machinery (except electrical), and computer and electrical products. Motor vehicles were by far the largest export shipped to Australia in the transportation equipment category. Meanwhile, state exports to New Zealand last year totaled $68.7 million, jumping 63.6 percent from 2015. Transportation equipment also led the way here, but in a change from previous years, aerospace products and parts, instead of motor vehicles, constituted the largest transportation equipment category. Other top Alabama exports to New Zealand included chemicals, paper, plastics and rubber parts; and machinery (except electrical). ‘International footprint’ Hilda Lockhart, director of the Department of Commerce’s Office of International Trade, said Australia and Alabama have a strong relationship in both trade and investment. The free trade agreement with Australia allows Alabama companies to be competitive in this far-reaching market, she said.Members of a trade delegation visit Sydney, Australia, in search of more business for Alabama companies. (Made in Alabama) In addition, New Zealand is a natural fit for Alabama exporters as some distributors cover both countries. “As our companies say, it only takes one strong partner to do business here,” Lockhart said. Alabama companies represented in the delegation include Atlas RFID Solutions, Warren Manufacturing and Regions Bank, all of Birmingham; Irrigation Components of Daphne; PowerSouth Energy Cooperative of Andalusia; MechOptix of Madison; Pinnacle Solutions Inc. of Huntsville; and Quality Valve Inc. of Mobile. Also part of the group are representatives from the University of Alabama, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. “This trade mission is comprised of multi-industry companies ranging from automotive, aerospace and high-tech equipment, which are among some of the best industry sectors for both Australia and New Zealand,” Lockhart said. “Both countries are very receptive to U.S.-made products because of quality and service.” As on all trade missions, the Commerce Department has partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Service to set up prequalified appointments to identify potential buyers and distributors. “The companies with us are working to grow their international footprint in new markets, and we feel very positive that they will be successful on this trip in doing so,” Lockhart said. Strengthening business Irrigation Components is changing its distribution model and looking for new distributors after many years of operating in Australia and New Zealand, said Ramsay Geha, vice president of international sales and a member of the trade mission delegation. The company provides irrigation parts for gear boxes, center drives, sprinkler packages and alignment controls, and it is the world’s leader in center pivot spare parts sales. Irrigation Components operates in more than 40 countries, all major agricultural areas. “Export sales are about 40 percent of our business,” Geha said. “Export was what established our company, and we are seeking to revitalize and strengthen this portion of our business.” Atlas RFID Solutions sees tremendous opportunity for its business in Australia and New Zealand. “Despite having worked on very large industrial construction projects in Australia, we have done so on behalf of U.S.-based contractors and have never worked directly with any Australian or New Zealand-based companies,” said Robert Fuqua, the company’s president and CEO. “We believe that having a more established presence in the region will open doors for more opportunities to provide value to local construction contractors.” Kevin Bube, vice president of client operations, and Ben Whipple, program manager, are representing the company in the trade mission delegation. “We are always looking for innovative industrial construction companies to whom we can deliver value through our proprietary materials readiness solution, Jovix,” Fuqua continued. “Companies who are prone to technology adoption are prime for our solution, which focuses on increasing craft productivity and schedule adherence through material readiness.” Presently, Jovix is deployed in four countries, and exports account for more than 65 percent of Atlas RFID’s annual revenue. “We have previously participated in trade missions to China, Hong Kong, Norway and Sweden. These trips have provided great value by aiding us in learning about the local business ecosystems and allowing us to create lasting relationships within those markets,” Fuqua said.Austal USA launches the future USS Omaha from its shipbuilding facility in Mobile. The Australia-based company is one of south Alabama’s largest employers. (Austal USA) Trading partners In addition to business meetings, delegation members also will attend networking receptions hosted by Consul General Valerie Crites Fowler of the U.S. Consulate General in Sydney and Acting Consul General Craig Halbmaier of the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Among the 50 states last year, Alabama was Australia’s No. 2 trading partner in exports of pulp, paper and paperboard mill products and its No. 4 trading partner in motor vehicle exports. Meanwhile, the state imported $106.5 million of goods from Australia in 2016. Other key ties between the state and the country include Australian shipbuilder Austal USA, which has a major manufacturing operation in Mobile. For New Zealand, Alabama ranked as the No. 1 trading partner in exports of pulp, paper and paperboard mill products, and the state was No. 2 for exports of resin, synthetic rubber, artificial and synthetic fibers, and filament. Alabama’s 2016 imports from New Zealand totaled $10.1 million. This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website. | AnAlabamaNews release || September 12, 2017 |||
FreshPlaza | A tech company that helps farmers improve crop yields will list on the Australian Securities Exchange today. CropLogic has raised the $8 million it sought in an IPO, and said it was even offered $1 million on top of that during the offer period. Forty million ordinary shares will be issued at 20 cents each, and the business will have a market cap of $25 million. The New Zealand “internet of things” agriculture tech company, established in 2010, uses on-field sensors connected via wireless and satellite channels to collect data such as soil moisture and temperature, and rainfall, alongside other information to give farmers a predictive analysis of their efforts. CropLogic’s current client base is predominantly potato farmers in the Pacific northwest region of the USA after the startup’s June acquisition of US agronomy services provider Professional Ag Services Inc. The first seven years have been a hard slog financially, with the prospectus showing just $124,906 in revenue and $1.34 million net loss for the year ending March 2017 and similar numbers seen the previous year. The $8 million raised in the IPO – which added to $3 million already secured in the past 12 months — would be used for business growth, market development, research and to “provide a healthy level of working capital”, according to CropLogic managing director Jamie Cairns. | A FreshPlaza release || September 12, 2017 |||
Trade Minister Todd McClay says the Government has agreed a negotiating mandate to upgrade the China Free Trade Agreement that will deliver thousands of jobs and be worth billions to our economy. “China is a significant trading partner. Our FTA with China has helped New Zealand companies stay in business during the GFC and keeps Kiwis in jobs,” Mr McClay says. “We currently have $24 billion of two-way trade with this large economy and impressive growth in education, tourism and goods exports.” “Trade means jobs - we know 8500 jobs are created in New Zealand from every billion dollars of exports.” “Upgrading the China FTA will increase trade and deliver more jobs in every region and every city of the country." Mr McClay says the upgrade priorities for the Bill English-led Government include a better deal for dairy, forestry and wood processing exporters, new rules to enhance online and digital trade and better measures to deal with non-tariff barriers. "We want to free up access and continue to level the playing field for kiwi exporters," Mr McClay says. “We have set a joint target of $30b of two-way trade with China by 2020.” “The upgrade will make it easier for us to hit this significant target. We are committed to delivering for New Zealanders.” The adoption of this mandate follows MFAT-led consultation and engagement with the public and business. MFAT continues to welcome feedback on the China FTA upgrade via its website. | A Beehive release || September 7, 2017 |||
On the Rural News website Pam Tipa writes that Trade expert Stephen Jacobi warns that if we don’t get Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) through, we will be seriously ‘squeezed’ in the Japanese market. This will be particularly in beef, but also in a wide range of primary products, he says. “The Europeans and the Australians now have free trade agreements and the Australians already have a very strong advantage over us in beef and the Europeans will have that too once their agreement is ratified,” Jacobi, the executive director of the NZ International Business Forum, told Rural News. “The Japanese have just put a safeguard on beef exports of 50% so that will damage our trade even further. You are talking about over $70 million of business, so it is quite a lot.” Over time Australia and the European Union will “steal a march on us,” he warns. This is not only in beef; the dairy, horticulture, wine and wood sectors will also be exposed. “The real gains in TPP for us came from Japan in the end and not from the United States, and it’s Japan we don’t have an FTA with -- the only country in Asia we don’t have one with now,” he says. Jacobi says the National and the Labour Parties should reach a bipartisan consensus on how to roll out the current TPP process. Negotiations are at a “delicate” stage. “This is too serious for NZ to just leave to domestic politics in my view. That’s why we like bipartisanship,” said Jacobi, “We have an opportunity potentially to conclude the Trans Pacific Partnership before the end of the year among the 11 remaining parties, excluding the United State which has pulled out. “It would be a lot easier to conclude that agreement if it wasn’t open to renegotiation.” Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson has said NZ should hold out for a better Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that includes blocking offshore buyers from buying existing residential homes. Jacobi says if we reopen negotiations, other countries will come up with different issues and “we will see a repeat of the eight years negotiation we just spent trying to get TPP right”. “That’s the risk. Of course at this stage it is hard to say whether others will want to reopen negotiation. It is conceivable they might. It would be particularly damaging if the market aspects got reopened because that was a very delicately balanced exercise. “For those reasons we would rather stay with TPP as it is at the moment. As you know, the risk for us is that if we don’t get TPP through we will be seriously squeezed in the Japanese market.” “Calling for renegotiation is not a straightforward exercise and I don’t know that NZers would be very well served to be the ones calling for it.” TPP has got to this stage against the odds, he says. “Everyone assumed once the United States pulled out the others would dissipate and all credit to the Government and negotiators for keeping up this work. “But the Japanese are key in this: they have put a lot of emphasis on this agreement for their own domestic restructuring so they clearly are not wanting to waste all that effort and that of course encourages other people to stay on board.” | A Rural News release || September 7, 2017 |||
TOKYO -- Low-fat, high-protein beef from grass-fed New Zealand cattle is becoming increasingly popular in health-conscious Japan. In a country known for gastronomic indulgence, not least its love of fatty, marbled wagyu beef, it may come as a bit of a surprise to see the burgeoning popularity of lean New Zealand meat. But as demand for lean cuts rises from an increasingly health-conscious public, more and more grass-fed New Zealand beef has appeared on Japan's supermarket shelves. In June, Co-opdeli Consumers' Co-operative Union switched from grain-fed Australian beef to meat from pasture-grazed New Zealand cattle for its home delivery service. Livestock tends to be raised in a more environmentally sound manner in New Zealand than major beef-producing countries. While the weather can be a bit dreary in the land of the long white cloud, abundant rainfall does make for rich and plentiful pastures. There are even farmers who specialize in grass for livestock feed, growing fiber-rich ryegrass and clover for its minerals. Continue to read the full article here in the Nikkei Asian Review || September 6, 2017 |||
“Globalization has changed, but in its earlier form, it was principally about opening up the possibilities of economic specialization, economies of scale, and economies of scope.”By Anand Swaminathan for The Politic Dr. Alan Bollard serves as the Executive Director of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which promotes regional trade, economic growth, and sustainability. As Executive Director, Dr. Bollard presides over economic programs that are mandated by APEC’s leaders and ministers. Before his work with APEC, Dr. Bollard served as Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury from 1998 to 2002 and then Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 2002 to 2012. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Auckland. The Politic: Can you describe the function of APEC and how it has developed over the years? Alan Bollard: APEC is an organization that is promoting regional economic integration around the Asia Pacific region. It has 21 member economies, over almost the entire Pacific coastline. This includes big economies like the U.S., Japan, Russia, China, and a lot of smaller ones. Altogether, APEC’s member economies make up half the world’s GDP, and it is the largest organization of its sort in the world. APEC came about around the end of the Cold War. It was the vision of a number of ministers around the Pacific Rim who realized that, if we could open up the barriers to trade and investment between economies, there was potential for very strong international economic growth. Can you describe what you think are the benefits of international free trade and, more generally, the benefits of globalization? Globalization has changed, but in its earlier form, it was principally about opening up the possibilities of economic specialization, economies of scale, and economies of scope. It used the theories of comparative advantage that had been well-established in economics for the last two hundred years, saying it is most efficient if production takes place in countries that have a comparative advantage. Typically, that used to mean that from WWII onwards, a lot of sophisticated production would happen in sophisticated economies like the United States. Whereas, some of the East Asian economies would provide a place for cheaper, lower-skilled assembly. Over time, this has changed considerably and quite quickly around the Asia-Pacific. Trade has become very integrated, there has been a big growth in value chains. Highly integrated trade and supply chains have brought a lot of benefits to consumers. When we look at who is actually producing, we do see a switch where more developed Western economies have moved quickly out of manufacturing into services. The developing countries have taken over manufacturing. This has had a distinct effect on the Asia-Pacific region. In APEC countries, at least half a billion people have come out of poverty and into middle-income in the last quarter of a century. Once they are in middle-income, these countries can generate their own growth and grow in more sophisticated ways. For example, these countries no longer have to simply rely on North American consumption or Chinese consumption. We are very clear that a growth of trade has led to an improvement in living standards, broadly. When you look at how those benefits have been distributed within countries, it does become more complicated. Some groups have gained, and some groups have lost. That’s really where domestic social policies should come into play because they should be identifying the losing groups and helping them re-skill. Responses to free trade differ throughout the world. Free trade has recently come under fierce scrutiny and criticism from people of all political orientations in the Western world. People have argued that trade has helped to demolish manufacturing in the West and enrich so-called elites at the expense of everyday workers. Do you think this criticism is justified and that there are real drawbacks to trade? Sometimes people make this criticism about trade, and other times they make this criticism about globalization. Often times, there is an amalgam of things that they are reacting to, that are different from trade. These include migration, the growth of environmental problems, growth in foreign investment, an increase in automation, and a growth in trade. Some of these things are interrelated, but quite often we’re finding that complaints about globalization are not about free trade but about automation. As to the popular concerns about this, some of it is simply harking back to the past that never existed. There seems to be a view in some European countries and, which certainly came up in the U.S. election, that these countries had a huge, solid manufacturing background and that they have lost that. We have to remember that, in the United States, less than ten percent of jobs are in manufacturing. Even after World War II, less than third of jobs were in manufacturing. Where do people work? In services. But you would never believe that from the media teaching. Generally speaking, these manufacturing sectors are not nearly as important as most people seem to think. The Financial Times has a term for this, called “factory fetish.” Politicians love factories, but actually, most of them long ago departed the developed world. Jobs in the services sector have taken their place. Why do you think there is so much of a fixation on manufacturing? Why do politicians consistently have this “factory fetish?” Some of it is history. The United States’ major contribution to early economics was mass production—Ford factories and onwards. Right through to WWII these were very important. But really after WWII, Japan took leadership of mass production and it moved around the world. Factories are also physical things that you can locate and look at. They are very concentrated in terms of employment. That means if you have a factory closure, that event is highly visible. From a communications point of view, it is much easier to communicate about factories. Generally, the story about factories has been about closures rather than openings. Politically, factories are much more attractive from a labor and union point of view. Beyond that, I think some of it is illusionary. Moving away from the Western world, how would you describe the current state of trade in the Asia-Pacific region? How are attitudes towards trade and globalization within the region? There was a very positive view of trade and investment because the benefits were very visible right up until the global financial crisis. As a very rough formula for the previous twenty years, we broadly had eight percent average annual trade growth, leading to roughly four percent average annual economic growth, leading to roughly two percent annual GDP per capita growth. This meant people were almost twice as rich as their parents’ generation, which is very strong delivery for the region. Now, in that period since the global financial crisis, trade slowed down very considerably. This didn’t happen all at once, because China was going through a commodities boom. But then we saw a slowing in trade, a slowing in growth, and a slowing in productivity growth. Would you say that the positive attitudes towards trade are reflective of the general population in Asia-Pacific? Or do we hear these positive reviews mostly from higher-up and elite members of these nations? It depends very much where you’re talking about. I’m in Singapore—Singapore is a trading hub and everyone knows that trade is very important. In a large economy like the United States, many people can feel insulated from these regional trade trends. In the Asia-Pacific region, generally there is a feeling that we can see the benefits of what trade has brought. But we do understand that things are changing, and that we have to communicate better to the wider population. Also, there is a reasonable argument that, in the past, we’ve been convinced that trade and globalization are benefiting countries but we haven’t worried too much about the distribution of benefits within a country. But, there is the argument that with higher levels of globalization, we do need social policies that will stand alongside that. That includes labor market policies, health policies, social protection policies, and above all, skill and reskilling opportunities. What we think most directly impacts jobs is much more automation. How important has automation been in displacing manufacturing jobs? How will automation continue to shape the future of work? We can’t be absolutely definitive about these questions because we haven’t been that good about forecasting technological change and its impacts on the economy. Most economic studies find that when you look directly for determinants of job loss, you find that two-thirds might be due to automation. So clearly, automation is having a big impact. It has had a large impact on manufacturing jobs. But the way that automation is going now, it’s actually impacting services much more and that’s where we should be looking to in the future. In the past, automation used to be applied to things that involved heavy lifting and mechanical repetition. But now, it’s being applied to things that involve intelligence and learning and different systems. What is the future of trade and globalization, given the advent of the Trump administration and protectionist sentiment throughout the Western world? Quite apart from the growth of protectionist thinking, it did look like we might have seen the growth in regional supply chains in the Asia-Pacific slowing down. Now, I’m not saying that the regional supply chains were slowing down, but that the growth of regional supply chains was slowing down. It looked like they had exploited a lot of the advantages of the economies of specialization. In addition, there has been one other very big economic development in the ten years since the global financial crisis, and that’s the energy revolution. The other big development will be the development of services trade. Services trade is not that developed in the Asia-Pacific region, but it is starting to be. That happens not only from moving goods across the region in ships, but also from moving data across the region on the Internet. It depends much more on things like telecommunications, roaming data charges, digital movements, cybersecurity, and those sorts of things. Already, data movements have increased fifty times over the past decade, according to McKinsey. It was reported that there was an APEC trade ministers’ meeting in late May, the first since the election of Trump. If you are able, can you describe the discussions during this meeting? How do other members of APEC feel about the Trump presidency? Yes, we were doing a couple of things there. We were all pretty interested to hear from the new United States trade minister Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. He had only just been appointed a few days previous to that meeting. We wanted to hear a lot more detail about the new U.S. administration, what it proposes on the trade and globalization side. But we need to hear a lot more detail about what that means, what their concerns are. We did hear some of that from the U.S. Trade Representative. He talked about trade deficits, possible bilateral developments, and a number of multilateral areas. We’re looking for what we think is best practice around the region. APEC is quite a good organization, both for the U.S. and other member economies, because it is voluntary. It is not like a WTO, or a TPP, or a RCEP, which are legally binding. We are not. We are just a test kitchen. We try things out, we incubate new ideas. So, we’re a place where it’s quite easy to try things out, and if you don’t like them, then you don’t have to be part of them. Certainly, the U.S. wants to see services trade continue and grow. They’re very focused on digital economy and that kind of commerce. But also, to be realistic, they made it clear that they will be focusing on NAFTA renegotiation. And we’ll watch how that goes. I know the annual APEC Leader’s Summit will be held in November, and Vice President Pence has indicated that Trump will be attending. What are your expectations for that meeting, and what do you expect Trump to say? It will be quite a big and important event. We expect to get all the leaders of twenty-one economies and that includes the very big economies. Many of them will have met in other fora by then, and particularly at the G20 Leaders Meeting in Hamburg, Germany. What they do in APEC meetings is that they review all the work I nominated and give directions for the year ahead. What we do is follow the directions of 21 economy leaders. I imagine they’ll be looking at how we communicate the benefits and costs of globalization in all of this. It’s helpful that it’s a few months away, because I think we’ll have more clarity in quite a few of the details. What advice would you give to college students who want to learn more about international trade and the global economy? Well, students are very lucky today. They’ve got massive opportunities compared to what used to be the case. They’re operating in an international world. Just within APEC, we have something like one million student movements, cross-border movements going on. I think there are great opportunities available, and my advice is to take advantage of them. There are great opportunities for being and remaining mobile in the world. There are many chances to help preserve many of the hard-won benefits of internationalization because, until the 1980s, it simply wasn’t like that. You simply couldn’t study and work across borders in the way that you can today. This interview has been edited for concision and clarity.
Goods and Services Trade by Country: Year ended June 2017 – for more data and analysis Goods and Services Trade by Country: Year ended June 2017 – Media Release New Zealand’s two-way trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was $15.2 billion in the June 2017 year, Stats NZ said today. Goods and services exported to ASEAN countries totalled $6.3 billion, and imports totalled $8.9 billion. New Zealand’s trade deficit with the combined ASEAN countries was $2.6 billion. ASEAN, established in August 1967, had Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as original members. Countries that joined later were Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. “Fifty years ago, we exported nearly $16 million worth of goods to the five original ASEAN countries,” international statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said. “That’s around $160 million in today’s value.” New Zealand imported $11 million worth of goods from the five countries in 1967 (approximately $94 million in current dollars). Two-way trade with ASEAN was $27 million (just over $251 million in current dollars), which included a surplus of $5 million (around $63 million in current dollars). In 1967, services were not included in Stats NZ’s exports and imports data.Dairy products, petroleum, and cars the main goods traded New Zealand exported $5.0 billion worth of goods to ASEAN countries in the June 2017 year, and imported a total of $7.1 billion worth of goods. Dairy products (including milk powder and cheese) were the main goods exported to ASEAN, followed by meat, logs, fruit, and wood pulp and waste paper. A total of $2.4 billion of dairy products were sent to ASEAN in the June 2017 year, with $524 million to Malaysia alone. Malaysia received most of New Zealand’s dairy products this year, followed by the Philippines ($474 million) and Indonesia ($400 million). Petroleum and related products was New Zealand’s largest goods import from ASEAN in the June 2017 year. Petroleum imports from ASEAN decreased in recent years as other sources were used, such as the United Arab Emirates. New Zealand imported $1.4 billion worth of petroleum from ASEAN in the June 2017 year, half of what was imported in the June 2013 year. Most these petroleum imports came from Singapore ($982 million). Since 2013, the value of vehicles and parts imported from ASEAN has doubled to reach $1.3 billion in the June 2017 year. The majority of these vehicles are from Thailand, where cars and trucks are made under licence for Japanese, American, and other international car makers. In 1967, New Zealand’s main goods exports to ASEAN were dairy products, followed by frozen meat, tallow, then wood pulp and waste paper. “Although the goods we exported to ASEAN this year were similar to those in 1967, the value and volume of this trade has increased,” Ms Kwon said. “Our main imports from these countries in 1967 were crude and synthetic rubber, kerosene, and petroleum.”Travel and transportation the main services traded New Zealand imported $1.8 billion worth of services from ASEAN in the June 2017 year, and exported a total $1.4 billion worth of services in return. Travel was the largest services export to ASEAN ($1.0 billion total), with personal travel to New Zealand contributing $613 million to the economy. By country, Malaysia and Singapore had the highest number of total visitors to New Zealand. Transportation was our largest services import from ASEAN in the June 2017 year ($669 million), with Singapore accounting for most of this. Imports of transportation services also includes New Zealanders travelling to and from Singapore on non-resident airlines. There were 1,301 flights that arrived in New Zealand from Singapore in the June 2017 year, and 1,286 flights that departed from New Zealand to Singapore over the same period. Over 23,000 New Zealand-resident travellers listed Singapore as their main destination in the June 2017 year, mostly for holidays or to visit friends and relatives. | A StatisticsNZ release ||September 4, 2017 |||
Support for TPP11 and the wider trade agenda by the incoming government is crucial for New Zealand now and in the future, says the EMA. The need to speed up the growth of exporting was one of the key recommendations in the EMA 2017 ElectionManifesto. “As a nation we rely heaving on trade for jobs and growth. With a population the size of ours, we need a vibrant exporting sector for New Zealand’s prosperity, says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA. “Which is why it’s vital whoever is in government in the next term ensures our trade agenda progresses and remains on track. “We, along with our sister organisation Export New Zealand, support the current push to have 90 per cent of exports covered by free trade agreements, along push with all efforts to bring TPP11 over the line. “It’s important our exporters have clarity on market access, tariffs and intellectual property with our trading partners. “For instance, we need to have a trade agreement with Japan – which TPP11 delivers. If we don’t we will be left behind,” says Mr Campbell. The EMA also encourages the rapid resolution of a free trade deal with the European Union, the pursuit of a similar agreement with the United Kingdom as it exits the EU and welcomes and steps to speed up the finalising of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership among the 16 Asia-Pacific economies involved. | An EMA Release || September 4, 2017 |||
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Trade negotiators from Canada and the United States gathered under rainy skies in Mexico City on Friday to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement, with the mood darkened by U.S. President Donald Trump's persistent threats to pull out. Teams from the three countries were due to kick off a second round of talks on 25 areas of discussion, with subjects such as digital commerce and small businesses seen as areas where consensus was possible, Mexican officials said. The Sept. 1-5 round will also touch on more thorny topics such as rules governing local content in products made in North America, Mexico's economy ministry said in a statement. Mexican officials believe Trump wants to include rules that some content must be made in the United States. Trump's attacks on NAFTA are seen by Mexican and Canadian officials as a negotiating ploy to wring concessions, but they have heightened uncertainty over the accord. Away from the diplomatic noise, the Mexico round of talks is expected to help define the priorities of each nation rather than yield major advances. Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke by telephone on Thursday and stressed they wanted to reach an agreement on NAFTA by the end of the year, the White House said. If they achieve that, it could set a record among the fastest multinational trade negotiation. The goal is to get a deal before Mexico's 2018 presidential campaign starts in earnest. Officials fear the campaign will politicize talks, with nationalist frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador already recommending a tougher line from Mexico. Nevertheless, one Mexican official noted that Trump's threats had put pressure on his negotiators, forcing them to adopt tougher positions "than they would like," while another official said they were ready to leave the table if needed. Negotiators predict that there would not be substantial discussion of areas of friction in either this round or the next one, a source familiar with the process said. "We do not expect any major breakthroughs or major developments in this round. We really don't," the source said. TRUMP THREATS Trump said this week he might trigger a 180-day countdown to withdraw from NAFTA while the talks were ongoing to help meet his goals, which include sharply reducing a $64 billion annual U.S. trade deficit with Mexico. NAFTA, first implemented in 1994, eliminates most tariffs on trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Critics say it has drawn jobs from the United States and Canada to Mexico, where workers are paid far lower wages. Supporters say it has created U.S. jobs, and the loss of manufacturing from the United States has more to do with China than Mexico. If NAFTA collapses, costs could rise for hundreds of billions of dollars of trade as tariffs are brought back. Free-trade lobby groups say consumers would be saddled with higher prices and less availability of products ranging from avocados and berries to heavy trucks. UNCERTAIN FUTURE Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told officials in Washington on Wednesday that Mexico would walk away from the negotiations if Trump pulls the trigger on withdrawing from the deal. Amid Trump's warnings, Mexico is preparing for something hard to imagine even a few months ago - life without the agreement that boosted trilateral trade to around $1 trillion annually. Juan Pablo Castanon, president of Mexico's Business Coordination Council representing the private sector in the talks, said Mexico's "Plan B" could be up and running within three months of an eventual NAFTA collapse. Talking on Mexican television, he said the plan was focused on striking new trade arrangements in Asia and Latin America, sourcing alternate suppliers such as Brazil for grains now imported from the United States, and finding ways to recreate investor guarantees that are included in NAFTA. Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto travels to China this weekend for talks about trade and investment, while Mexican negotiators were due to take part in trade talks with South American nations, Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday. Mexico's status as the biggest foreign buyer of yellow corn from the United States gives it some leverage in the NAFTA talks, with corn-growing states that voted for Trump in 2016 emerging as a powerful voice that is opposed to scrapping the deal. (Additional reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Bernadette Baum) | A RealNewsNow release || September 2, 2017 |||
Sistema CEO and Customs .jpgCustoms and Sistema Plastics have signed a partnership under the NZ Customs Secure Export Scheme (SES), endorsing the exporter’s supply chain security standards. Customs and Sistema executives met at the Sistema head office in Auckland to seal the deal with an official Certificate of Partnership. Customs Acting Comptroller Christine Stevenson says New Zealand’s SES gives members greater certainty at international borders and ensures minimal delay. “We recognise the importance of supporting international trade. Sistema is one of the country’s most successful manufacturing businesses, and now exports to more than 80 countries around the world. The Sistema range is well known internationally and it is very pleasing to welcome them on board with this partnership,” says Ms Stevenson. Sistema Plastics CEO Drew Muirhead says “Joining the partnership will bring great efficiencies and allow us to continue streamlining our supply to our customers globally. We are delighted to be part of SES and thrilled to be working alongside Customs and the other great New Zealand companies which are also part of it.” Exporters that are approved for the SES provide Customs with risk management plans that assure their goods are packed and transported securely to the place of shipment without interference. Customs currently has agreements with the United States, China, Australia, Japan and Korea and SES is recognised by those countries. It means exports by local SES members benefit from the knowledge their products will be considered secure at those borders. The SES is voluntary and open to exporters wish to apply. For more information, see Secure Export Scheme. | An NZCustoms release || September 01, 2017 |||
JR’s Orchards, writes Nicola Watson for www.freshplaza.com is the only large scale, export orchard left in the Wellington area and is situated in the heart of the beautiful Wairarapa, in Greytown. "Our region's climate of hot days and cold nights gives our fruit outstanding pressures and brix, making our apples highly desirable to all markets," said Jamiee Burns from the company. "In the past 5 years we have planted in excess of 35,000 trees including the new “Sunglow” Red Delicious which is attracting a lot of interest due to its sweet taste and storage compatibilities." JR's are planting another 5,000 trees this winter, mainly Royal Gala and High Colour Braeburn. "We are looking to grow our markets in Europe and Asia as we feel our variety mix of Royal Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, Sunglow, Pacific Rose and European Pears will be perfect for these markets. We also export to the Middle East market and currently supply fruit into Lidl and Aldi in Europe." Although netting is not common among New Zealand apples growers, JR's have 90% of their orchards protected. "We have the largest single netting structure for apples and pears in New Zealand and we will continue to develop until we are 100% covered," explains Jamiee. "The netting has many benefits in enhancing our fruit quality and fruit finish as it has created its own micro climate under the nets. Our crop is protected from birds, insects, wind and hail." The first netting was erected in 2007 and according to Jamiee, it has been a fantastic investment. "We have seen a 30% increase in production due to the netting. This is achieved by having a cleaner, pest free product and healthier trees." JR's are a stand-alone business with no other grower supply base. Everything is marketed under the ECCO brand is 100% own fruit. "We have our own packhouse and coolstores with the capacity to Smartfresh 2,000 bins per day. We load all containers onsite and are part of New Zealand's Secure Exporters Program. This allows our export product to enter overseas markets freely without the need for additional offshore customs inspections." The company has also invested in a new Compac grader that allows them to size, colour band, defect sort and optimise pack weight to ensure accuracy of the product. "Our philosophy and vision is to grow excellent quality fruit in a sustainable way, while showing respect for our environment. We have twice entered the New Zealand Ballance Environmental Awards and in 2009 won the Gallagher Innovation Award. In 2015 we entered again and won the 2015 Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, 2015 Waterforce Integrated Management Award and 2015 Massey University Innovation Award, said Jamiee proudly. The company is accredited to BRC, Global Gap + GRASP, Sedex Registered and follow the New Zealand Pipfuit Apple Futures Program to ensure we can deliver an excellent product and meet all our Importers stringent MRL standards required by our markets. | A FreshPlaza release || August 31, 2017 |||
TRAVERSE CITY — Devices to help farmers get over, around and through orchards and vineyards were on display during the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center's annual open house last week. Seven agricultural equipment vendors — three from the area — sprawled out down the hill from the Research Center office and conference building. One area vendor, Herman's Mobile Service from Suttons Bay, towered over the other companies. Herman's displayed a mobile frost fan that extends 28 feet into the air. Built by Tow and Blow in New Zealand, the device is powered by a diesel engine. "This machine will cover 11 acres," said owner Pat Herman. "The new model that is coming in now are 14 acres. Diesel engine. They're quiet, like a lawn mower. The biggest thing with these is portability. You can move them from one crop to another or put them away when you're done with them." Herman said permanent frost fans, while covering more acreage, also burn more fuel. "We're going to have slightly less coverage than them, maybe one to two acres," he said. "But the other thing we have going is we burn about a gallon and a quarter of fuel an hour where those are going to burn about 13. It's a big difference." The mobile frost fans also feature a temperature-controlled start. Herman said the $37,000 price tag is "very comparable to the stationary ones." Herman said his company has been carrying the product for three years. He said Herman's Mobile Service sells many of the mobile units in Ohio, New York and Wisconsin. | A RecordEagle release || August 31, 2017 |||
"Double the amount of pallets fit onto a container ship" writes Nele Moorthamers Marketing Manager Europe ZESPRI International ( Europe) NV for FreshPlaza. A few months ago Seatrade introduced a new line from New Zealand. "Our kiwis now go to Belgium with the Seatrade Blue," says Nele Moorthamers of Zespri Europe. "This container ship goes to Zeebrugge via Peru and the US, arriving at the BNFW terminal, where the kiwis are unloaded. It will be a set line that will arrive at Zeebrugge every 10 days. The first ship from the new line arrived on August 28. Around 40% of the shipment is SunGold and the rest is Green and Organic kiwi fruit." ContainersIt's the first time that Zespri has transported its kiwis in 40 foot containers. " In the past the kiwis arrived in Zeebrugge in reefer ships, where the entire deck was filled with pallets of kiwi fruit. The line Color Carrier, uses cooled container ships. Every container has around 20 pallets of kiwis and are individually cooled. It mainly has an impact on loading and unloading the ships," she explains. Double the volume"The container ship has a much larger capacity. In the past we received around 5,000 pallets through a reefer ship and there are 10,060 pallets on the ship that arrived on Monday. That's more than double. The transit time is now a few days longer than with the reefer ships, as this line has extra stops." Nele says that the season has been satisfactory so far. "We still have around six weeks of sales for New Zealand SunGold, before we seamlessly move to European SunGold. The season for Green is more difficult, as the demand is large and the supply on the market is quite limited." | A FreshPlaza release || August 30, 2017 |||
KUCHING: New Zealand is keen to further enhance its ties with Sarawak, especially in the areas of education and tourism. Its High Commissioner in Malaysia Dr John Subritzky said given there are many Malaysians coming to New Zealand to study, education is something that his country and Sarawak can work on a lot more. He said tourism between Malaysia and New Zealand had also grown a lot, where many New Zealand tourists are coming to Malaysia and many Malaysian tourists, including Sarawakians, are going to New Zealand. Subritzky said the purpose of his visit to Sarawak is to meet a wide range of government, business and political leaders, exploring how New Zealand and Sarawak are able to further enhance their ties, especially in areas such as trade, cultural and indigenous links aside from education and tourism. “Sarawak and New Zealand share particularly warm links through the Colombo Plan and the deployment of New Zealand defence force personnel in support of Sarawak’s defence during the Confrontation. “Indeed, my visit will coincide with a visit to Kuching of New Zealand veterans from the Emergency and Confrontation conflicts, probably the last visit they will do as a group to Malaysia,” he said after paying a courtesy call on Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip at the latter’s office here yesterday. Subritzky said he was glad to have the opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the relationship between New Zealand and Sarawak, and Malaysia as a whole. He noted that New Zealand and Malaysia shared an enduring friendship based on strong political, economic, education and tourism links. Subritzky is here for an official visit until tomorrow. While here, he is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing today (Aug 29). | A Borneo Post release || August 29, 2017 |||
Yang Shuang reports for Fresh Plaza that as of August 22, one of the leading Chinese fruit companies, Fruit Day, and JD.com have officially started to sell persimmons from New Zealand. Their platform is one of the first to sell New Zealand's persimmons in China. After 12 years of negotiations the first batch has finally arrived on the Chinese market. Last year, in May, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ) published the "Inspection and Quarantine Administration requirements for New Zealand persimmon and Turkish cherries." On May 27, products that fulfilled these conditions of, were approved to be imported to China. This year, on July 20, China's AQSIQ has once again updated the list of New Zealand persimmon exporters who have been allowed to export New Zealand persimmon onto the Chinese market. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise agency trade commissioner Damon Paling said: "I am delighted that New Zealand's crunchy persimmon will be able to enter China for the first time this summer. The New Zealand fruit is tastier than ordinary persimmon - it's sweet and delicious. I hope that Chinese consumers will like it." Crunchy persimmon growing on plantation Fruitday imported this first batch from a company called 'First'. It actually was the 'first' company to have its products approved by China's AQSIQ. First's crunchy persimmon plantation is situated on the east coast of New Zealand, in Gisborne. But it's not only the unique environment that makes persimmons from First so good, but also a special V-planting technology, which helps to reduce the negative impact of insects. This technology also lets more sunlight reach the fruits, so they can become even sweeter. Special V-planting techniques Zhao Guozhang, co-founder of Fruitday, said: "We are very confident about our sources of supply. Our purchasing mission has traveled all over the world to find the best fruits. New Zealand combines perfect natural conditions with well-developed agricultural technologies. Their products earned their customers the highest appreciation. New Zealand is a very important source of supply for us. It has a lot of world-famous farmers, brands and associates who are our indispensable fruit partners. Fruitday is a pioneer and an innovator. Since it's very foundation Fruitday has been promoting high quality fruits from New Zealand. In the last eight years, we've made a lot of new fruits available on China's market. For example: Zespri Sungold kiwifruits, Zespri Green kiwifruits, Envy apples, Queen Rose apples, New Zealand honey pears and a lot of other fruits that have never been sold in China before. Fruit Day is still working hard to bring even more high quality fruits and to gain more trust from Chinese government officials. Being a company that introduces new kinds of fruits to the Chinese market, Fruit Day have become the number one choice for their partners. About Fruit DayFruitday was founded in 2009. It is a new kind of food enterprise and one of the leaders on the market. Fruit Day works with the food suppliers all over the world. The company has an App for on-line sales and also uses off-line channels of distribution, which allows it to satisfy as many customers as possible. Fruit Day have their own direct sales platform, private cold storage and cold chain logistics. | A FreshPlaza release || August 28, 2017 |||
The export value of New Zealand wine has reached a record high according to the 2017 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers. Now valued at $1.66 billion, up 6% in June year end 2017, wine now stands as New Zealand’s fifth largest goods export. Over the past two decades the wine industry has achieved average annual export growth of 17% a year states the Report. “With diversified markets and a strong upward trajectory, the industry is in good shape to achieve $2 billion of exports by 2020” said Steve Green, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. According to the Report exports to the USA have lead the strong growth, passing $500 million for the first time (up 12%). New Zealand wine became the third most valuable wine import into the USA, behind only France and Italy. Mr Green highlighted that in order to achieve continuing value growth, it is critical for the industry to maintain focus on protecting and enhancing its reputation as a distinctive, quality product. “Our premium reputation remains the greatest collective asset for New Zealand wine, and underlies the high average price our wine commands in global trade”. Improved protection of New Zealand’s regional identities through the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act, and initiatives such as the launch of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand Continuous Improvement extension programme will help enhance the world-class reputation of New Zealand wine as a premium and sustainable product, said Mr Green. The 2017 Annual Report can be accessed here: https://www.nzwine.com/en/news-media/statistics-reports/new-zealand-winegrowers-annual-report/ | An NZWinegrowers release || August 28, 2017 |||
Complex issue of food imports pushes Brussels to bend its rules on not yet talking trade with Britain writes Simon Marks for Politico Brexit negotiators are close to an agreement on a key trade issue that diplomats anticipate will be formally wrapped up at the latest round of Brexit talks next week. With the two sides deadlocked on major stumbling blocks such as how to calculate the U.K.’s financial obligations to the bloc — the so-called Brexit bill — the rapid progress towards an early agreement is the first concrete result from the talks, which have been running since June. The nearly-done deal on what happens to the EU’s massive food import quotas with other countries after Brexit, is all the more remarkable because it does not conform to the EU’s strict sequencing of the negotiations. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has been adamant that he will not discuss the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU until the talks make “sufficient progress” on three separation issues — the Brexit bill, the rights of EU citizens living in the U.K. post-Brexit and the Northern Irish border. The decision on whether to move on to the next stage will be taken by EU leaders at a European Council summit in October. As POLITICO reported in July, although trade issues are meant to fall into phase two of the negotiations, the problem of reduced-tariff import quotas raises such a strategic headache for Brussels that EU negotiators have been willing to bend the rules and aim for an early agreement. Diplomats say that the matter has been agreed at a technical level and should be formally wrapped up during next week’s Brexit negotiations. Lamb chops offer a perfect illustration of the EU’s problem after Brexit. Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) are mechanisms under which the EU imports agreed tonnages of meat, sugar and grains from around the world with lower-than-usual duties. Brussels, which negotiates a common trade policy on behalf of all 28 states, has 124 TRQs with major agricultural exporters across the globe. Lamb chops offer a perfect illustration of the EU’s problem after Brexit. Currently, the EU has an agreement to buy 230,000 tonnes of New Zealand’s lamb and goat meat each year, under a quota with reduced tariffs, but Britain traditionally buys 40 percent of this. So what does the EU do after Brexit? If Brussels spreads the U.K.’s outsize quota among the remaining 27 countries, it will infuriate Europe’s own sheep farmers whose produce would have to compete on the market with the extra supply. The alternative is to try to divide the 230,000 tonnes between the U.K. and the EU, but this also has legal risks. Big agricultural exporters from Latin America to Australasia could always argue that they lose some of their market access under the new division and could look to sue at the World Trade Organization. The agreement set to be formally agreed this week is that Britain will carve out and inherit a substantial part, if not all, of its quotas under the EU arrangements, several diplomats said. “The U.K. is leaving so they can take a bit with them,” said one senior EU official briefed on quota talks. The official added that calculations on the size of the U.K.’s quota will be based on recent trade patterns. A big push has been made in recent week to seek “convergence on a joint approach” to TRQs with the U.K. so that trade partners in Geneva can be consulted, the official said. After next week’s Brexit talks, the EU is expected to produce an official position paper soon to be sent to the WTO in Geneva as early as next month.No worse off The EU hopes that it can avoid a big legal showdown in Geneva by citing WTO rules that countries cannot sue as long as they can be shown to be “no worse off” under the new distribution of quotas between the U.K. and EU. One diplomat also said that big food exporters would be looking to expand their exports to the U.K. when the country negotiates its so-called “schedules” at the WTO. Schedules are essentially national passports for entering the global trading system and the U.K. will need to negotiate them in the aftermath of Brexit. These schedules will map out Britain’s obligations in terms of tariffs, subsidies and quotas, and negotiations in Geneva will give big exporters an opportunity to wrest bigger import concessions out of Britain. Despite the imminent agreement on TRQs, there remain severe doubts on the EU that sufficient progress can be made before October. Britain has been working on the quota question with the EU over recent months, and a spokesperson for Britain’s Department for International Trade said London was fully engaged in resolving the TRQ problem as part of WTO talks. “In leaving the EU, we will need to update the terms of our WTO membership where, at present, our commitments are applied through the EU as a whole,” the spokesperson said. “The UK wants to ensure a smooth transition which minimizes the disruption to our trading relationships with other WTO Members and tariff rate quotas are one of the issues that we are discussing in a cooperative and transparent way with WTO members.” Despite the imminent agreement on TRQs, there remain severe doubts on the EU that sufficient progress can be made before October. When asked by journalists at a briefing ahead of next week’s talks whether there was enough time to reach a deal on separation issues a senior EU official said: “We have not yet encountered a situation when lack of time will prevent us from advancing [discussions]. So far, it has been a lack of substance.” | A Politico release || August 25, 2017 |||
A group of leading New Zealand cherry growers have joined together to export a premium cherry line to the international markets starting in the 2017/18 season. "Pure Pac consists of a group of 7 passionate Cherry Growers who all own orchards in the Cromwell Area Central Otago," explains Ross Kirk, Chief Executive of Hortinvest which has been contracted as Pure Pac's project manager and packhouse manager. "What makes Pure Pac unique is all the shareholders are grower suppliers. We will grow, pack and market the fruit directly to buyers in the international market. Pure Pac have engaged an experienced team to put together their packhouse, logistics and marketing of our cherries." As a group they currently have 70ha in production and coming into production and this year they will plant an additional 20,000 trees. 2017-18 will be the first export season for Pure Pac, however the growers have been exporting via other packers/exporters. According to Kirk they got together and decided they would like to work directly with the international market and therefore decided to invest in a state of the art packing house which will be ready for the first cherries to be processed in December 2017. The harvest starts prior to Christmas and will run till early February. "We have several varieties. The key export ones are Samba, Lapin, Sweetheart, Staccato and Rainier. In the first season we expect to pack 450mt and over the next 4 years anticipate volumes increasing to 1000mt per annum," said Kirk. "We are growing the varieties that suit the Asian market, they are sweet, juicy and crunchie." Pure Pac are working with Compac Engineering to put in the latest cherry grading technology, along with some technology which is imported from Italy and France to complete the packhouse set up. The new packhouse will be capable of handling 1200mt’s over the cherry season. "We are very excited to be launching our two brands at Asia Fruit Logistica: Pure Gold and Gold Reserve," stated Kirk. "The difference in the brands is simply the box and brand design. The quality of the cherries will be the same high quality premium cherries in each box. "We have very strong demand from Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, we are looking to expand throughout Asia, and we would like to also work with customers from India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan." Pure Pac will be at Asia Fruit Logisitca as part of the New Zealand Country stand. The team, including some of the grower/directors will be there to meet with customers and discuss the group's cherries and the up coming Cherry season. | A FreshPlaza release || August 23, 2017 |||
Writes Allan Golombek a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group for Real Clear Markets. The scene in the Hamburg supermarket was stark. Row after row of empty shelves, dotted by a few products made domestically. Edeka supermarkets, the largest supermarket chain in Germany, emptied one store of every last imported good on a weekend. They were making a point. Rather than a protest against openness and diversity, it was an object lesson in the benefits we all derive from those two values. It was a defense of tolerance, but also a reminder that openness to goods and services, people and ideas is not just something we engage in to help others, but to help ourselves, directly and every day. It is not surprising that this case for openness was made in Hamburg, a city that used to serve as a major port of departure for German immigrants to the United States, and the place widely believed to be responsible for the development of the hamburger, one of many foreign dishes that achieved enormous international popularity. Stripping the shelves of foreign-made products didn’t just demonstrate the advantage of drawing people from around the world through liberal immigration policies, as valuable as that is. It also illustrated the indispensable advantage of being free to import, utilizing resources and skills that can be found around the globe. While pro-trade politicians often try to sell free trade as a way of encouraging exports to create jobs, far more important is the fact that it makes it possible to import, enhancing choice – which is the economic purpose of working in the first place.. The ghost town image of the Edeka supermarket helped make it clear just how much we benefit from imports, of food and other goods, and how important they are to us. In the United States, the amount of imported food continues to increase as Americans consume more products that are either not locally available or not grown fast enough to meet demand. Americans import a wide variety of foods, literally from fish to nuts. Some are not grown in the United States, such as bananas and coffee. Many are made a lot more cheaply in other countries. Many are seasonal, and many new entirely to Americans (as pizza, bagels and felafel once were). Rather than a source of economic decline, two of the driving forces behind the growth of food imports are the desire to cut back on the cost of one’s food budget, and rising incomes spurring a wider desire for choice. Next time you sit down to a meal or grab a snack, ask yourself if it would be available to you if it wasn’t for global trade. No lamb from New Zealand, salmon from Norway, or pasta from Italy. And next time you hear a politician criticize NAFTA, bear this in mind: The two largest sources of agricultural imports to the United States are its trading partners, Mexico and Canada. That includes most sugar and tropical products, such as coffee, cocoa, and rubber, and animals and animal products, including beef and veal. If your doctor has told you to eat your veggies, bear in mind that Mexico dominates vegetables imported into the United States, supplying peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, pinto beans, broccoli, and cabbage to name a few. Canada supplies carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes. NAFTA is good for you, physically as well as economically. And if you’re worried about the trade deficit with China, bear in mind that it includes billions of dollars worth of seafood each year, including farm-grown tilapia, shrimp, salmon and catfish. The value of eating globally, not locally, undermines the core arguments of a growing anti-trade movement: Locavorism, which is based on the flawed premise that a diet of locally grown food offers environmental, economic and social benefits. In fact, the opportunity to import food extends our food supply chain, enhances competition and choice, delivers lower prices, and provides greater variety – the spice of life, literally as well as figuratively. Over the years, we have been shaping a global diet. The brief removal of imported food from a supermarket’s shelf in Hamburg demonstrates its economic and cultural value to us. Allan Golombek is a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group. | A RealClearMarkets release || August 25, 2017 |||
Whittaker's, a premium brand of chocolate in the Land of the Long White Cloud has established a foothold in the Fijian market thanks to an exclusive distribution deal with the Motibhai Group. Whittaker's head of international markets Matt Whittaker who visited the country this week on a market-familiarisation trip, said he was very impressed with the response from Fijian customers. "We're delighted to now have this opportunity to build our relationship with chocolate lovers in Fiji via the strong distribution network of Motibhai Group and Prouds retail outlets," he said. Mr Whittaker said while more established brands in the Fijian market would prove to be a challenge, Whittaker's unique manufacturing process and taste would ensure local chocolate lovers would take to the brand. "As a family and as a company, we are steadfastly committed to producing only chocolate of the highest quality. "Whittaker's ensures quality by controlling the whole manufacturing process — from bean to bar — from our one factory in Wellington, New Zealand." Mr Whittaker said the brand was available in 20 markets around the world with the biggest being Australia followed by Malaysia, China and Canada. "Of strategic importance is the North American and Asian markets and for the Pacific, one of them is Fiji. "I think Fiji is going to be exponential — we have already seen four times the sales in the first year with Motibhai and its really exciting days ahead for us. "In the New Zealand market, we are number two approaching number one and we are market leader in the categories we compete in." Motibhai Group director Tajesh Patel said the Whittaker's brand was already making inroads in the Fijian market. "Whittaker's were doing some supplying to some companies in Fiji directly before but about two months ago they nominated the Motibhai Group as their distributor in Fiji," he said. "And that's how we came into partnership with Whittaker's. "So Motibhai is the main distributor of Whittaker's in Fiji and we will be distributing through our Prouds stores, supermarkets and in time to come petrol stations as well." | A Fiji Times release || August 24, 2017 |||
Silver Fern Farms has launched a large-scale China chilled pilot with the first sea-freight container shipment of chilled beef as well as multiple air-freight orders of beef and lamb set for customers across China. The pilot is part of a six-month trial negotiated by the government to test chilled red meat access into the China market. While small-volume air-freight product has been sent into market, it is understood that this is the first sea-freight container to test the market says Silver Fern Farms GM Sales Grant Howie. "It is important that during this trial period we test the market’s protocols and supply chain for chilled meat at sea-ports as well as via air-freight," Mr Howie says. "With chilled product in China we need to test the process at scale which is why we have worked with one of our customers to take a full 20ft container of chilled product." The first sea-freight container leaves New Zealand this week and is due to arrive into China in early September. "Our relationship with Shanghai Maling has helped facilitate this sea-freight order. We are working with one of Shanghai Maling’s subsidiaries who will distribute Silver Fern Farms chilled beef to a number of its supermarkets in and around Shanghai. "The cuts they are taking are important. They are primarily secondary cuts of prime Beef - cuts that would otherwise have been sold frozen at lower prices. They have the capability to position these traditional Chinese cuts at a premium in supermarkets." Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand’s largest meat exporter to China, having achieved $316m of sales to the region in 2016. All of the product entered the market in frozen form. Silver Fern Farms is also testing protocols for small-scale air-freight orders of beef into key food service distributors who service high-end restaurants and hotels in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and an airfreight order for lamb cuts into a major multi-national high-end supermarket chain. "For the past 2 years we have been busy developing the premium food service market with our Eating Quality (EQ) Graded Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef as a frozen product. Our Reserve and Angus Beef frozen programmes are aged for 21 days back in New Zealand before being shipped frozen. Now that we have the ability to ship chilled, that ageing can now occur as it is shipped to China." "This is a complex large scale chilled pilot to test a variety of market entry options as well as a range of products. We have two air-freight orders destined for our food service customers in Shanghai. They have ordered our value added Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef, and our food service chilled prime beef product in primary and secondary cut form. They are taking steak cuts, our Silver Fern Farms Reserve oyster blade and rump caps." "We have also partnered with a major multi-national high-end supermarket chain for an order of lamb cuts, including premium lamb racks. We look forward to further orders at scale so we can test sea-freight container orders once the new season lamb production comes on in coming months." | A SilverFern Farms release || August 23, 2017 |||
It is already five months since Theresa May triggered Article 50, thereby serving the mandatory two years’ notice for Britain to leave the EU on 29 March, 2019 writes David Bulk for Yahoo Finance. In that time there have been limited proposals formulated in terms of policy documentation – especially by the UK government. The EU side certainly knows what it wants and most of what we hear this side of the Channel from Juncker, Verhofstadt and Barnier are edicts and demands. Well, Britain’s very own Brexit triumvirate of May, Davis and Fox are back at work from their summer holidays; so let battle commence! MORE: 5 things the UK needs to maintain a Green Brexit MORE: Frankfurt and Dublin set to sweep bank jobs away from UK The word on the street is that, despite discussion papers on transition periods for customs unions and plans to maintain equilibrium (or near enough the status quo in the case of Ireland and Northern Ireland), the UK government is a mile behind the curve in terms of preparation. The fact that the Government, after a disastrous general election, has no overall majority, inevitably means that a ‘hard’ Brexit – or a ‘hard-nosed’ plan – should be no longer on the table for discussion. Continue here to read the full article on Yahoo Finance || August 22, 2017 |||
The first round of long-awaited talks on modernizing NAFTA finished Sunday, with Canada, Mexico and the United States issuing a statement that they had made "detailed conceptual presentations" of their positions. Negotiators from the three countries will meet again in Mexico on September 1 to continue trying to revise the trade pact. But while all say they are keen to see a new deal emerge, they still have to navigate the political risks attached to any commercial agreement. Donald Trump´s promise to renegotiate trade deals was a key plank of his "America First" campaign platform. One of his first acts in the White House was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with countries in Asia-Pacific and the Americas, including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Meanwhile, negotiations between Washington and the European Union for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have not resumed since Barack Obama left office. Speculation now centers on the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, typically seen by many economists as at least a qualified success story. Since 1994, trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada has more than tripled, forming a trading bloc with a combined GDP of around 20 trillion dollars. However, prominent representatives of both the left and right, from Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader to Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan, have long criticized the agreement for contributing to a hollowing out of the country´s manufacturing industry and lost U.S. jobs, partly because of increased trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. Right-wingers also accuse NAFTA of undermining U.S. sovereignty and opening up the United States to what they see as an increasing threat from drugs, crime and immigration from Mexico. From a different standpoint, even some previous advocates of NAFTA have become less enthusiastic about the deal. This is partly because the three countries have been unable to fully address challenging issues like tightened border security. NAFTA is also seen to have stalled because Mexico, Canada and the United States have increasingly preferred to push bilateral solutions rather than addressing opportunities and problems trilaterally. A key rationale for the prevailing lack of triliteralism in the continent is that the NAFTA architects from Canada and Mexico wanted to curb EU-type political institution building they feared would lead to a Brussels-style bureaucracy dominated by Washington. Equally, Washington has generally disliked the idea of developing any pan-North American political institutions that could rein in U.S. autonomy. Trump jumped into this cauldron of criticism in the 2016 election campaign by calling NAFTA "the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country." In key electoral states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, his championing of an anti-international trade agenda helped win him significant support last November. (In April, Trump told Reuters that he had been "psyched" to terminate NAFTA, but changed his mind after Canada and Mexico asked for it to be renegotiated instead.) Many U.S. businesses have urged that forthcoming negotiations should not jeopardize existing market access, and that the key negotiating principle should, in the words of United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, be to "do no harm." Now the USTR and the administration must assess exactly how much overhaul is politically necessary to meet the expectations generated by Trump´s statement that "we´re going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all." The renegotiations have high political stakes for Canada and Mexico too. If agreement cannot be reached before the Mexican presidential election on July 1, 2018, negotiators could have to deal with NAFTA skeptic and current poll favorite Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The left-wing populist has positioned himself as a critic of Trump and the U.S. president´s "campaign of hatred" against Mexico since the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Uncertainty over NAFTA, the TPP and Trump´s trade policies in general, could create a significant political vacuum. That, in turn, could give China a gap to exploit - a gap Beijing is waiting to take. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baoding said last year, "protectionism is rearing its ugly head...China believes we should set up a new plan to...sustain momentum for the early establishment of free trade areas." Beijing´s alternative vision includes a Free Trade Area of Asia Pacific (FTAAP), a long-term goal to link Pacific Rim economies from China to Chile that has been debated since 2004. In the shorter term, Beijing is also pushing a free trade pact, for which discussions have been underway since 2012, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). That would include the 10 ASEAN members plus India, Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, but not the United States. RCEP, which is smaller in scope to FTAAP, would create one of the largest free trade zones in the world. Collectively, RCEP countries account for around a quarter of global GDP, and some 46 percent of the global population. While Chinese President Xi Jinping has asserted that RCEP and FTAAP do not "go against existing free trade arrangements," Beijing and Washington have for years had contrasting visions of shaping the regional order through formulation of NAFTA and TPP on one hand, and RCEP and FTAA on the other. From China´s perspective, RCEP and FTAAP would be more conducive to its national interests. This is not least because, unlike TPP, Beijing would be explicitly part of the new economic agreements and able to shape their design by creating trade deals with China at the center. Reflecting this, former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has despaired that Washington will now "be left on the sidelines as others move forward." Continued uncertainty over Trump´s trade stance will only increase the prospects of China taking the lead in the competition for regional trade integration. This will potentially not just consolidate Beijing´s own regional power and its global political and economic influence, but also damage hard-won U.S. credibility with its local and international trading allies. No wonder that many in Washington recognize a lot is at stake in the NAFTA talks, and that a great deal of effort will be required in coming months to see a breakthrough. (Reporting by Andrew Hammond) Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4811154/Commentary-The-elephant-room-NAFTA-talks.html#ixzz4qTJwoPwHFollow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook || August 21, 2017 |||
Britain has set out proposals to ensure that goods and services currently approved for sale across the UK and EU can continue to be traded after Brexit. The plans published by Brexit Secretary David Davis were welcomed by business leaders as an improvement on EU proposals which would require separate regulatory processes on either side of the Channel from the day after UK withdrawal. Mr Davis said the UK was now ready to begin a "formal dialogue" on elements of the future UK-EU trade relationship, such as customs. But Brussels indicated it will continue to resist UK pressure to bring forward trade talks, insisting they must wait until after sufficient progress has been made on the divorce deal - something which one EU leader said could drag on beyond the autumn. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar told The Guardian: "I think that the process will definitely take more time than we expected at the start of the negotiations. "There are so many difficult topics on the table, difficult issues there, that one cannot expect all those issues will be solved according to the schedule made in the first place." But Downing Street said it remained "confident" of making enough progress on the issues of citizens' rights, the financial settlement and borders for the European Council to give the green light to the second phase of Brexit negotiations when it meets in Brussels in October. Mr Davis's new position paper comes ahead of the third round of formal negotiations in the Belgian capital next week, and is expected to be followed in the coming days by further documents on issues like post-Brexit judicial co-operation, dispute resolution and data protection. His Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) said the UK's proposals were designed to smooth the way to "the freest and most frictionless trade possible" under a new partnership with the EU. But Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake dismissed them as a "fantasy wishlist", adding: "Nothing would provide businesses and consumers with more certainty than staying in the single market and customs union. "That is the option this Government should be pursuing if it was serious about protecting jobs and free trade." Britain's proposals envisage all goods placed on the market before Brexit day continuing to be sold in the UK and EU without extra restrictions or requirements after withdrawal, and state that the same principle should apply to services relating to these goods. Approvals granted for products like cars to be sold across the EU should remain valid, and arrangements should be made to ensure continued oversight of the safety and regulatory compliance of goods like medicines. With EU exports to the UK totalling more than £250 billion in 2016, DExEU argued that this approach would avoid "unnecessary disruption" during the move to new long-term arrangements. A "narrow" approach to goods like agricultural products or food would risk "significant legal uncertainty and potential disruption for businesses and consumers both in the UK and the EU", the paper warned. A separate paper recommended a reciprocal agreement on continued confidentiality for official documents shared by Britain with its EU partners while it was a member state. Mr Davis said the papers provide "certainty and confidence in the UK's status as an economic powerhouse after we have left the EU" and make clear that " our separation from the EU and future relationship are inextricably linked". He added: "We have already begun to set out what we would like to see from a future relationship on issues such as customs and are ready to begin a formal dialogue on this and other issues." European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said the publication of position papers was " a positive step towards now really starting the process of negotiations". But he said any early move to talks on trade would have to be agreed by the 27 remaining EU states, adding: "There is a very clear structure in place, set by the EU27, about how these talks should be sequenced and that is exactly what we think should be happening now. "The important thing is to realise that the clock is ticking, that we have no time to lose and that we need to get on with it." The CBI said the UK paper was a "significant improvement" on EU proposals which would create a "severe cliff-edge" for goods currently on the market. But director of campaigns John Foster said the simplest way to reassure companies was f or the UK to "stay in the single market and a customs union until a comprehensive new deal is in force". The director of EU affairs at manufacturers' trade body the EEF, Fergus McReynolds, said: "The Government's position is helpful as it reaffirms the concerns of the manufacturing sector to secure the continuity of goods and supply of services from 2019 onwards. Industry now wants to see this resolved as quickly as possible." And Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "Businesses here in the UK as well as on the continent will welcome the British Government's desire to maintain maximum continuity in the way goods are traded when the UK withdraws from the EU." Ukip business spokesman Christopher Mills said: "As far as these proposals go, they appear sensible. Businesses on both sides of the Channel are looking towards the politicians to act responsibly. Today the UK has - over to you, Brussels." Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "These papers come months after the EU published their plans and offer precious little new information or concrete proposals. "It is increasingly clear that the Government are publishing bland, non-committal papers as a smokescreen to mask their failure to make any meaningful progress on phase one's core negotiating issues - including citizens' rights. "Instead of preparing the ground for failure, the Government should focus on reaching an early agreement to the first stage of talks and make an early commitment to establish strong transitional arrangements." | A BelfastTelegraph release ||
National is promising to deliver New Zealand's boldest-ever trade push if it wins the election, creating "shiploads of jobs" and giving the economy a multi-billion dollar boost. Trade spokesman Todd McClay says a National-led government will work to unlock markets with 2.5 billion new consumers for the benefit of large and small exporters in every region. "This new trade access will create shiploads of jobs and be worth billions of dollars to our economy and businesses across the country," he said on Tuesday. Most of the initiatives Mr McClay is committing to following through have already been announced and some, including TPP11, are under negotiation. National leader Bill English, who was with Mr McClay to make the announcement in Auckland, said it was the first time the entire list of trade initiatives had been brought together. "We hope to have significant success to help the export sector," he said. "Labour wants to renegotiate TPP11 - if that happened, it would mean the end of it." The list of targets for "high-quality and comprehensive" free trade agreements include: * The European Union * The United Kingdom (following Brexit) * Sri Lanka * Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay & Uruguay Negotiations to be completed are: * The Trans Pacific Partnership 11 * Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru (The Pacific Alliance) Existing agreements to be upgraded with: * China * Singapore * The Association of South East Asian Nations. Mr McClay told reporters the European Union FTA negotiations could start later this year and he wanted to complete all those that are underway within the next three years. "We can't say we will take five or 10 years to negotiate deals... this isn't too ambitious." | A Beehive release || August 21, 2017 |||
Brexit and Ireland Britain's troubled relationship with the island next door is a problem again. Theresa May's government has urged the European Union to allow British businesses to continue to enjoy the benefits of the free trade of goods into Europe after Britain has left the EU. Brexit secretary David Davis said:"These papers will help give businesses and consumers certainty and confidence in the UK's status as an economic powerhouse after we have left the European Union". The Government is to publish more details of its negotiation plans for Brexit later this week. "We've published recently just in the last few days a number of papers that set out our thinking on some of those key issues for the future relationship". Slovenia's prime minister Miro Cerar told the Guardian newspaper in an interview that not enough progress had been made to move onto discussing a trade deal, in a blow to the government, who want to begin trade talks alongside negotiations over the UK's withdrawal. "There are so many hard topics on the table, hard issues there, that one can not expect all those issues will be solved according to the schedule made in the first place". The European Council will decide in October if "sufficient progress" has been made in discussions so far. "That is our aim and we are confident that we are working at a pace to be able to get to that point". Britain is pressing Brussels to begin early talks on a long-term trade deal as part of the negotiations over the terms of Brexit. But sources said it was up for negotiation whether ECJ rulings will apply in the two or three year transition period after 2019. A New Zealand/UK dual national with more than 25 years' experience, Falconer will lead trade policy and the development of negotiation capability and will serve as an ambassador for Dr Fox's Department for International Trade. "So, never mind Theresa May's foolish red line; we will have the ECJ in all but name". The proposal, unveiled in The Times today, could allow Theresa May to square the circle of getting Britain out from under the control of the ECJ while protecting free trade in the EU's single market. The Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake MP said: "David Davis promised us "the row of the summer" over the Brexit timetable, only to capitulate weeks later to the EU's preferred timetable after a disastrous general election for his party which vastly undermined their negotiating position". | A Hightech Beacon release || August 21, 2017 |||
Kiwi companies are queueing up to do business with Vietnam and other similar sized Asian countries, a leading New Zealand tech businessman says. Mitchell, chair of NZTech, FinTechNZ and a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) beachheads advisor in technology business for the ASEAN region, has just returned from a major Kiwi business exploration trip to Vietnam. Pham has also been advising the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. He says Kiwi tech sector must be an active part of the New Zealand story, presence and engagement in South East Asia to gain more brand awareness and business traction in the region.“We had huge engagement from the Vietnamese market. Everyone was interested in what New Zealand has to offer across the board,” he says “But it is critical for Kiwi companies to follow-through after these visits to progress relationships into business. Sadly, not enough companies follow through in the past, which resulted in business contacts in the region who went all out to engage with visiting delegations ending up feeling let down by us afterwards. “As far as Kiwi technology goes. We are not an island. It would be smart and important to be there alongside other NZ industry sectors which have been doing business development in Asia for much longer and therefore are bigger, stronger, better known, more visible, more active and more connected in the region.” Pham says the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub in Ho Chi Minh City and Augen Software Group in New Zealand have been working with University of Auckland, the ASEAN-New Zealand Business Council (ANZBC), AUT university, KEA, Asia NZ Foundation, NZTE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the NZ Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and other businesses to grow trade in Vietnam. “This latest trip which has only just ended was the largest ever NZ Inc. collaboration and contingent to the ASEAN region. “This has resulted in more than 80 leading Kiwi business entrepreneurs, executives, managers and educators across different industry sectors visited and engaged with the Vietnam market, some also went on to Thailand. “Businesses in the group included Augen, AUT, GlidePath and new entrants to the region such as MEO-Air and Fluent Scientific. “Vietnam continues to grow in income and consumption appetite for food and beverages, fast-moving consumer goods. Other high-growth industries include traditional and high-tech manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, education, financial services, transport and logistics. “All of these sectors require technology and know-how to support their rapid growth and advancement, so there are many opportunities for Kiwi tech businesses who serve these sectors back home or elsewhere. “It is vital that Kiwi businesses do their market research and engage in rigorous on-the-ground validation of their target customers in the region,” Pham says. Vietnam has a population of about 95 million and 60 percent of its people are younger than 30 years old. It has the fastest growth in internet connections and number of mobile users in the ASEAN region. Ho Chi Minh City is the geographic epicentre of the region’s centres of commerce and industry. | From the MSCTravel reporters' desk with MakeLemonade and FinTechNZ || August 15, 2017 |||
Dairy company Fonterra is constructing an advanced plant that is set to reduce the amount of groundwater extracted for its Darfield manufacturing site by around 70%. Based on New Zealand’s South Island, Darfield is already considered a world-leading facility, according to Fonterra. Now the company…