After 16 months of negotiations, the draft contract became Britain’s post-EU brokerage contract.
“This is an excellent UK trade deal that reinforces our longstanding friendship with New Zealand and strengthens our relationship with the Indo-Pacific,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Trade between the UK and New Zealand was worth US$2.3 billion (US$3.2 billion) in 2020, less than 0.2% of all UK trade. According to the UK government’s own estimates, the deal is unlikely to boost UK GDP.
The signing of new trade deals is urgent as Britain seeks to balance the economic benefits of EU membership. By 2020, the EU accounted for 42% of exports and 50% of imports of British goods and services, and companies face new trade restrictions after Brexit.
Britain also has deals with Japan and Norway, but they are based on deals negotiated by the European Union.
Johnson said British consumers want affordable New Zealand products, ranging from Savignon blanc to manuka honey and kiwi.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Artern described these countries as “best friends and close partners”.
“The historical ties that bind us are deep,” he said, adding that the trade deal “is good for our economies, our companies and our people.”
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