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Wellington, May 31 – New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Wednesday announced that Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between his country and the UK has come into force.
In a statement, Hipkins said that the benefits which will begin flowing from the FTA will provide a further big boost to New Zealand’s economy and will bring an up to NZ$1 billion ($600 million) increase to the country’s annual GDP, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The economy is through the worst, with inflation having peaked and returning to the target range next year, good growth, and more workers coming in to help with skill shortages,” Hipkins said.
New Zealand businesses will immediately save around NZ$37 million from Wednesday, with the instant elimination of tariffs and new duty-free quotas covering 99.5 percent of current exports, he said.
Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor said the wine industry is New Zealand’s biggest export to Britain and will see at least NZ$25 million in tariffs disappear overnight.
Honey producers will no longer face a 16-per cent duty, and the dairy and red meat sectors will transition to duty- and quota-free access for the first time in 50 years.
The proportion of New Zealand export goods covered by an FTA has expanded from 52.5 per cent to 73.5 per cent since 2017 and shows the importance of these agreements to growing exports, O’Connor said.