Following the sixth round of discussions, which ran from July 19-30, the UK is now close to finalising a Free Trade Agreement with Zealand. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said that “great progress” was made in the last meeting.
A statement from Truss emphasised the shared values, long history and commitment to free trade between the UK and New Zealand, reports Sky.
“I want a modern agreement that pushes new frontiers in areas like green and digital trade,” said Truss who back in June signalled confidence in trade talks with New Zealand and said the government aimed to conclude a "fantastic" agreement in principle in August.
A trade agreement could see the removal of tariffs on UK and New Zealand goods, making products traded between the countries available to consumers at lower prices. The Department for International Trade also claims the deal will enable SMEs to export more goods and services to New Zealand.
According to City AM, trade between the UK and New Zealand was worth £2.3bn in 2020.
As well as improving trade, it is also hoped that the deal with will speed up the UK’s admission to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which it applied to join in January.
The prospect of a trade deal with New Zealand comes after an agreement was struck between Australia and the UK in June, which included provisions for freer movement of citizens, tariff removal and mutual skills recognition. As negotiations continue, it is anticipated that a New Zealand – UK trade deal will include similar provisions.
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