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UK & New Zealand Set To Begin Fifth Round Of Free Trade Negotiations

The fifth round of trade talks for a New Zealand and United Kingdom free trade deal are set to begin this week with ambitions for the removal of tariffs on goods and services and potential provisions for the freer movement of citizens.

Liz Truss CANZUK
UK Secretary of State, Liz Truss, speaking with New Zealand counterparts in London, UK (photo: PMP Magazine)
Written by James Skinner
James is the Founder & Chief Executive of CANZUK International in Toronto, Canada


New Zealand Trade Minister, Damien O’Connor, is preparing to leave for London later in the week where he will meet UK Secretary of State, Liz Truss.

Two-way trade between New Zealand and the UK was worth about $6 billion in 2019, and the British government is now aiming to have 80% of global trade covered by bilateral agreements.

In previous talks, the UK tabled what it considered to be a “commercially meaningful” offer on market access including tariff and quota elimination. The British government are now expecting New Zealand to make progress on a services offer in the fifth round, particularly in relation to financial services.

“We expect comprehensive tariff elimination, including on agricultural goods, over commercially meaningful timeframes,” O’Connor said to the New Zealand Herald.

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The meeting comes shortly after a survey of 605 New Zealand businesses, which either import or export, was conducted by Colmar Brunton and commissioned by the British High Commission. The survey found that nearly two-thirds of New Zealand importers and exporters believe a free trade agreement will make it easier for New Zealand businesses to access opportunities in the UK.

The UK is also engaging with Canada and Australia in negotiating comprehensive trade deals, with Australia expected to be first over the line in offering tariff removal on goods and services, and freer movement for citizens to live and work between the countries.

CANZUK International will continue to work with British and New Zealand officials to ensure that a comprehensive trade deal between the two nations is finalized while providing scope for developing freer movement of citizens as part of upcoming diplomatic arrangements.

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