The country is one of the first outside of the EU and the US to negotiate with the UK. Trade discussions for Brexit have been thrown into chaos lately as the coronavirus pandemic has led to economic recession globally, as well as geopolitical tensions making discussions difficult.
The welcome news of the trade talks with New Zealand was confirmed on Wednesday.
New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker hailed the news in a statement.
He said: “As the UK embarks on its next steps post-Brexit, New Zealand is pleased to be among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement with one of our oldest friends.
“New Zealand and the United Kingdom have a close relationship, including strong trade and economic ties, common values and traditions and a shared history.
“A free trade agreement will be an important new milestone in that relationship.”
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New Zealand is Britains sixth largest trade partner, with two-way trade worth around £3 billion.
According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UK government models estimate that a free trade deal could raise New Zealand’s gross domestic product by NZ$1 billion.
The model also holds that New Zealand exports to the UK could grow by 40 percent, and UK exports to New Zealand in turn would raise by 7.3 percent.
Parker also indicated that in addition to removing trade tariffs, the talks would aim to find “new approaches” to achieve the lift of non-tariff barriers.
These talks would also included looks at streamlining customs procedures and regulatory co-operation.
Parker added: “In the post-Brexit environment, it makes more sense than ever for us to be working together to grow this partnership for the future.
New Zealand is simultaneously negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU.
Earlier this month Parker described leaked details from the EU’s offer as a “very negative signal”.
Sam McIvor, CEO of Beef & Lamb New Zealand, also claimed that the leaked details suggested that the EU’s market access offer to New Zealand would maintain small quotas with in-quota tariffs.
He said to GlobalMeat news: “The leaked details suggest the EU intends to continue to promote agricultural protectionism.
“This negative signal to trading partners is extremely disappointing, considering recent statements made by the EU Commission that spoke of the importance of trade liberalisation and openness, particularly in a post COVID-19 world.”
It also follows Australia also beginning free trade negotiations with the UK.
Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said his country was “ready to help the UK find new beginnings post-Brexit and in doing so, open up new doors for our farmers, businesses and investors”.
He continued in a statement: “We’ve been preparing for this deal since the UK decided to leave the EU and welcome their agreement to commence negotiations.”
The UK is Australia’s seventh largest trading partner, who is also discussing trade with the US, the EU and Japan.