The upgrade of the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and China will help further streamline trade between the two countries, Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says.
“The upgrade will simplify export procedures, remove a level of administration, paperwork and reduce compliance costs for red meat exporters.
“We anticipate a reduction in the time our exporters spend waiting for goods to clear customs, enhanced transparency and predictability for businesses, which is great news for New Zealand’s largest manufacturing sector and farmers,” Karapeeva said.
“The strategic value of an FTA upgrade with NZ’s largest trading partner cannot be underestimated and this agreement highlights a deepening of our bilateral relationship with China.”
Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, has congratulated Minister of Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and the negotiating team.
“We understand that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to the negotiation of this agreement and we appreciate the work that both sides have put in to conclude this process. At the same time, our strong and stable relationship with China has been critical through this turbulent period.”
The China-NZ FTA has provided significant benefits to New Zealand’s red meat sector since its original signing in 2008, he said.
Since then, New Zealand’s exports to China have grown from around $600 million to $3.5. billion a year, with China now making up over 36% of the sector’s exports overall.
“Reaffirming the strength of this relationship through the FTA upgrade is significant and confirms the importance of China as one of New Zealand’s most important trading partners. Our economies are natural partners, with Chinese consumers demanding red meat products with the high food safety and quality standards that New Zealand red meat producers are world leaders in.”
The FTA upgrade will allow for the self-declaration of origin. Currently, exporters need a certification of origin from the Chambers of Commerce.
It also includes provisions for expedited clearance of perishable goods with clearance times through the border within six hours of arrival. There will also be improvements of arrangements for products transiting through other countries.