NZ starts FTA negotiations with the UK
New Zealand's and British negotiators are starting to discuss a free trade agreement that is supposed to offer predictability for businesses on both sides. The announcement was received with hope by representatives of New Zealand's meat industry, considering that, last year, the UK was New Zealand’s third-largest individual market, behind China and the United States. The UK was also New Zealand’s largest market for chilled lamb in 2019, worth almost $384 million.
"New Zealand relies on secure, stable and predictable market access to support the livelihoods of thousands of New Zealanders and businesses. The red meat sector employs almost 5% of New Zealand’s full-time workforce, accounting for 92,000 jobs, predominantly in the regions. A high quality, comprehensive and ambitious FTA with the UK will deliver real prosperity for our regional and national economies. The UK is an important market for New Zealand’s high-value lamb exports and has good potential for beef. The FTA is an opportunity to strengthen our bilateral relationship and generate additional export revenue for the country," commented Sirma Karapeeva, Chief Executive of the Meat Industry Association (MIA).
The successful conclusion of a high-quality UK-NZ FTA would support the UK’s strategy of joining the international trade community and the potential joining of the Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the future.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive Sam McIvor says New Zealand has long-established relationships with the UK red meat sector. “Our red meat exports complement seasonal production in the UK so that customers can buy high-quality red meat all year round. Crucially, trade with New Zealand ensures there is lamb available at Easter and Christmas." Until last year, the British market accounted for 45% of the sheepmeat exported by New Zealand in the EU.