New Zealand and South Korea complete free trade agreement

The governments of New Zealand and the Republic of Korea have completed negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement. Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination and eighth largest import source, with total two-way trade of $4bn in the year ending June 2014.

Mainfreight claims that New Zealand exporters currently pay over NZ$220m in duties to the South Korean market. Tariff changes under the Free Trade Agreement are expected to lead to significant savings in the first year and ultimately duties on current exports are planned to be eliminated within 15 years of the agreement coming into effect.

In the long term the agreement is expected to see New Zealand exporters on a level playing field with other countries such as US, the EU and Chile. The deal is expected to benefit exporters in both countries.

Under the free trade agreement changes will be made across many sectors allowing New Zealand exporters to grow their presence in Korea. The food and viticulture sectors are expected to be the greatest beneficiary of the deal.