EU and New Zealand Sign Free Trade Agreement

The European Union and New Zealand recently signed a free trade agreement. The deal was closed after years of negotiations and signed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

According to joint declarations, the results of this agreement will lead to an increase in trade by 30% within a decade. It is estimated that exports to Wellington could increase up to 4.5 billion euros per year, while Union investment could increase by 80%. In this context, European companies should earn about 140 million annually due to duty reduction.

Currently, the EU is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner, with trade in goods between them growing steadily in recent years to over €9 billion in 2022.

Thanks to the agreement, trade and investment will be liberalized and provided with greater opportunities for both business and consumers. In particular, all tariffs on major EU exports such as pork, wines, chocolate, sugar products will be lifted, and New Zealand’s services market will be opened up in finance, telecommunications, maritime traffic, and delivery.

Mutual non-discriminatory investment treatment will also be guaranteed, and nearly 2,000 wines and spirits from the EU such as Prosecco, Polish Vodka, Rioja, Champagne, and Tokaj will be protected. Additionally, there will be cheeses such as Asiago, Feta, Conte, Queso Manchego, Istrian prosciutto, Lübeck marzipan, Elia Kalamatas olives… In general, actions will be taken to facilitate the exchange.

On the other hand, negotiations continue on a second agreement that would be clearly more important, namely an agreement with Australia. According to Il Foglio, in this case we are quite far from an agreement, as Canberra has signaled that they would instead like to have the freedom to use protected names for locally produced food, as well as have significant access to European agricultural food markets. However, it is important for Brussels to work more closely with Australia, especially regarding access to rare-earth elements.