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.
BISON, a specialist developer of container technology, will showcase a new, world-first portable system for lifting containers at the IANA Intermodal EXPO in California on 18 and 19 September.
The BISON C-Lift was launched in August with, claims the company, widespread interest from the USA.
Recognising that conventional container handling equipment is typically big, heavy and expensive, New Zealand-based BISON says its “compact, portable and more economic alternative equips importers, exporters and project logistics operators to lift heavy containers on and off chassis in any location”. It says that first units are now being shipped to the Middle East, South America and Europe.
“Intermodal USA is the perfect event for showcasing the C-Lift,” says BISON CEO Greg Fahey. “We’re looking forward to meeting people in North America’s intermodal industry and discussing how our unique lifting equipment can open new possibilities for container freight and logistics there.”
Alongside the C-Lift, BISON will have its popular range of portable container weighing scales on display at Booth 911.
Intermodal USA is the world-leading exhibition and conference for companies associated with the container and intermodal industries, covering all areas of container transport and logistics across road, rail and sea. More than 125 companies across 70+ product categories will exhibit at this year’s event, bringing together high-quality speakers, exhibitors and decision makers from all over the world.
| A LogisticsBusiness release || September 13, 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).
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.
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)
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
Trade Minister Todd McClay says he is deeply disappointed Queensland is pushing ahead with discriminatory government procurement rules which will unfairly disadvantage and potentially harm New Zealand companies.
Mr McClay has today initiated formal consultations with the Australian Federal Government to fight for the fair and balanced trade access that New Zealand companies have a right to expect across the Tasman.
“Initiating consultations sends a strong message that the Bill English-led Government will not stand by whilst an Australian state government undermines our mutually beneficial relationship,” Mr McClay says.
“The NZ Consulate-General has been engaging with Queensland over the last 2 weeks, however this has not led to a satisfactory outcome. Queensland has confirmed that New Zealand companies will be impacted by its policy from tomorrow.”
“The Queensland Government's policy means everyone comes second. Queensland companies have been welcome to bid for government contracts in New Zealand and under Closer Economic Relations we expect New Zealand companies to be treated exactly the same in Queensland.”
The initiation of CER consultations follows an urgent visit to Canberra by Mr McClay to register his grave concerns with ministerial counterpart Steve Ciobo.
"I am grateful to Minister Ciobo and the Federal Government for taking this issue seriously. We have agreed to a constructive process that protects our important trading relationship."
“Queensland companies continue to provide millions of dollars worth of goods and services to our Government. New Zealand businesses must be shown the same courtesy in Australia,” Mr McClay says.
“Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges has raised his concerns with the Queensland Government under the Australia-New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement.”
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.