Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trade deal with Hong Kong signed

New Zealand and Hong Kong will today sign a closer economic partnership (CEP) agreement, building on the free trade agreement with China.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said the agreement strengthened economic links between New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

"The CEP complements our existing FTA with China and, given Hong Kong's position as a regional trading and investment hub, supports New Zealand business engagement with the wider region," said Groser.

"With a remarkable 43 per cent increase in our exports to China over the past 12 months - an extra billion dollars of export revenue earned - there is real potential here for New Zealand.

"Our trade agreements with Hong Kong and China provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to increase our exports and our positive engagement with a region that will continue to be of central importance to our economy over the decades ahead."

The CEP is Hong Kong's first of the type aside from their agreement with mainland China.

"This agreement is focused on cementing certainty of access to markets and establishing a clear framework for companies to operate within," Groser said.

"It is designed to encourage ease of doing business and to foster the free flow of people, innovation and business engagement.

"The conclusion of the CEP will also help to raise the profile of New Zealand businesses in Hong Kong's competitive consumer market and with regional distributors."

The CEP would come into effect late this year after domestic implementation procedures were done.


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