Friday, 24 March 2017 09:08

PM launches ambitious trade agenda

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Prime Minister Bill English has today launched New Zealand’s updated trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, and reiterated the Government’s commitment to free trade.

The Prime Minister has also announced the Government’s ambitious goal of having free trade agreements cover 90 per cent of New Zealand’s goods exports by 2030, up from 53 per cent today, as well as investing $91.3 million over four years through Budget 2017 to help achieve this.

“New Zealand is succeeding and New Zealanders are getting ahead. Wages and employment opportunities are rising, we’re investing in infrastructure like schools and roads and the Government’s books are back in order,” Mr English says.

“A big reason for that is the Government’s consistent agenda of economic reform, and our collective determination to open up more opportunities for trade with the world.”

Mr English says trade is vital to New Zealand’s economic success and while our existing trade agreements have raised our standard of living, our ability to forge new and better ones will play a big part in determining whether our success is sustainable.

“It’s important that we remain an open and outward-facing country focused on creating and embracing trading opportunities, and Trade Agenda 2030 outlines our plan for achieving that.

“It will see us seek to forge new trade agreements, maximise the benefits of existing ones, focus more on tackling non-tariff barriers, put more emphasis on services, investment and digital trade issues, and work even more closely with our exporters to help them create and succeed in new markets.”

The Trade Agenda 2030 package includes:

  • The opening of a new embassy in Dublin, Ireland and a new High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • $35.3 million to the Ministry of Primary Industries to focus on boosting the value of our primary sector exports, including through targeting non-tariff barriers.
  • $20.3 million to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to enhance the Ministry’s trade work, with a focus on improving market access, maximising benefits from existing FTAs and negotiating new ones, helping business internationalise and tackling non-tariff barriers.
  • $6.7 million to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to strengthen our international networks across the globe and boost the availability of consular services for Kiwis overseas.
  • The establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Group to ensure the public is better informed on trade issues.
  • The development of a single point of contact to allow exporters to alert the Government to non-tariff barriers and to get better information and support.

The new funding is $80.3 million in operating funding over four years and $11 million in capital.

“As a Government, we are working hard to help create opportunities for our exporters to compete successfully on the world stage. And we are incredibly proud to see New Zealanders succeed internationally.

“There is so much to gain from advances in free trade, in terms of jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders.

“I am committed to seeing those gains, and on behalf of all New Zealanders this Government will continue working to achieve them.”

More information can be found at www.mfat.govt.nz/tradeagenda2030

|  A Beehive release  |  March 24, 2017   |||