The European Union and New Zealand sign a free trade agreement

The European Union and New Zealand sign a free trade agreement

For the agreement to enter into force, the agreement must be approved by the European Parliament and ratified by New Zealand.

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The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels (Belgium), June 29, 2023 (NICOLAS ECONOMOU / NURPHOTO / AFP)

The European Union and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement on Sunday, July 9, which, according to Brussels, should lead to a 30% increase in bilateral trade between them within a decade. The agreement must be approved by the European Parliament and ratified by New Zealand in order to enter into force.

Referring to this agreement concluded in June 2022 after four years of difficult negotiations, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the text “ambitious” And “Very balanced.” “New Zealand is a key partner for us in the Indo-Pacific region, and this free trade agreement will bring us even closer.”She added in a statement from Brussels.

Investment growth

For his part, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hepkins praised the text he represents “huge benefits” for both partners. The European Union is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner, exporting wine, fruit and meat to Europe, among others.

Bilateral trade in goods between the two regions will reach just over 9 billion euros in 2022. According to Brussels, it could increase EU exports to the Pacific archipelago by up to 4.5 billion euros annually. EU investment in New Zealand could grow by up to 80%. The text also contains a chapter devoted to “sustainable development”, Unprecedented in the European trade agreement.

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