FTA yield­ing trade benefits for New Zealand

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOHN LIU

More than one year af­ter a free trade agree­ment (FTA) be­tween Tai­wan and New Zealand was put into ef­fect, New Zealand’s ex­ports to Tai­wan surged nearly 17 per­cent while Tai­wan’s ex­ports only grew 0.45 per­cent.

The FTA was inked in July 2013 and be­came ef­fec­tive in De­cem­ber of the same year. The Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs (MOEA) said the trade pact gives lo­cal busi­nesses spe­cial­iz­ing in steel con­struc­tion ma­te­rial, metal hard­ware, bi­cy­cles, sports equip­ment, and in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts an edge in en­ter­ing the New Zealand mar­ket.

Ex­ports of tur­bine en­gine, steel prod­ucts and bi­cy­cles grew the most, by 242 per­cent, 56.61 per­cent and 24.45 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

Statis­tics show bi­lat­eral trade rose 9.25 per­cent to US$1.723 bil­lion in the pe­riod be­tween De­cem­ber 2013 and Jan­uary 2015.

New Zealand’s ex­ports to Tai­wan to­taled US$984 mil­lion, up 16.93 per­cent year-on-year. Tai­wan’s ex­ports to New Zealand to­taled US$739 mil­lion, up 0.45 per­cent.

MOEA of­fi­cials made a point that the FTA cov­ers not only trade in goods, but also tech­ni­cal bar­ri­ers to trade, san­i­tary and phy­tosan­i­tary mea­sures, cus­toms, rules of ori­gin, which can all cut down costs for lo­cal firms, and ex­pe­dite the de­liv­ery of goods to mar­kets.

For Tai­wan the pact has more sym­bolic value than real im­pact. It is a high-stan­dard FTA, and New Zealand is the first mem­ber coun­try of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment to sign an FTA with Tai­wan.

It is a break­through that may lead to Tai­wan’s fu­ture membership in the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship and Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship.

New Zealand’s Dairy Ex­ports

Grow 30 Per­cent

Dean Preb­ble, direc­tor of New Zealand Trade Devel­op­ment Cen­tre, said af­ter the FTA took ef­fect over a year ago, Tai­wan has sur­passed Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia to be­come New Zealand’s seven largest ex­port coun­try, based on the Cen­tral News Agency’s re­port.

Ex­ports of dairy prod­ucts — which ac­count for 40 per­cent of all ex­ports — jumped 30 per­cent and sales of ap­ples also tripled.

New Zealand ex­porters are pleased with sim­pli­fied pa­per­work, faster de­liv­ery of prod­ucts to Tai­wan and lower tar­iffs that have re­sulted in higher trade ac­tiv­i­ties, Preb­ble said.

Agri­cul­tural prod­ucts like dairy prod­ucts, beef and tem­per­ate­cli­mate fruits make up the ma­jor­ity of ex­ports to Tai­wan, while elec­tron­ics prod­ucts ac­count for the most im­ports, ac­cord­ing to Preb­ble.

While New Zealand’s ex­ports stag­nated in 2014, its ex­ports to Tai­wan grew more than 14 per­cent, Preb­ble said, adding that bi­lat­eral trade grew 7.16 per­cent in the year.

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