Tax News 11 February 2013
NZ consults on regional FTA
by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong
The New Zealand Government is consulting on a sixteen-nation free trade agreement (FTA), a deal it says is about creating long-term wealth and employment for New Zealanders.
Representatives from New Zealand, Australia, the ten ASEAN states, China, India, Korea and Japan met in November last year to launch negotiations. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) FTA will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues.
The Government is consulting because it says that, as it prepares for the talks, it is important that its negotiators know and understand the views and interests of New Zealanders. Among those from whom submissions are sought are investors, exporters and importers of goods and services, non-government organizations and other interested individuals.
Trade Minister Tim Groser said: "This is a significant development for New Zealand which will help us deepen our links with Asia. Asia is critical for New Zealand’s future as a source of growth, markets, investment and talent. Ultimately these agreements are about creating long-term wealth and employment for New Zealanders."
"This allows New Zealand to be a part of a major trade initiative in the dynamic East Asian region. The countries which have committed to RCEP represent markets of more than 3bn people, almost USD20 trillion in combined GDP and around 27% of world trade."