NZ-Korea Free Trade Agreement a win for Gisborne

Gisborne news
Monday, March 23, 2015

East Coast MP Anne Tolley today welcomed the signing of New Zealand’s free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea – the sixth-largest export destination for Kiwi goods and services.

“Free trade agreements help open up markets for Kiwi exporters, and exports drive New Zealand economic growth. Helping our exporters means creating jobs for New Zealanders.

“Gisborne’s economy depends on exports – agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, and forestry all face tariffs in international markets that impact their profits,” Mrs Tolley says.

New Zealand is the largest supplier of buttercup squash to Korea, exporting $10.8 million in the year ending June 2014. Under the FTA the 27 percent tariff will be eliminated in Year 5 for New Zealand’s export season (December through May).

Kiwifruit is New Zealand’s main horticulture export to Korea and on each shipment exporters faced a 45% tariff. We’ve exported as much as NZ$76 million worth of kiwifruit in a single year which cost our kiwifruit exporters up to NZ$35 million in duties.

“Under this FTA we will also have better access to Korean goods, such as motor homes, transport vehicles, heavy machinery, and home appliances.

“Korea is the eighth-largest import source of goods and services in New Zealand. We import about as much product from Korea as we export – this agreement is a win-win situation.

“With a strong history of working together, this free trade agreement will take New Zealand’s relationship with Korea into the future,” Mrs Tolley says.