After months of negotiations, the New Zealand-UK trade deal has been agreed in-principle, providing for the removal of tariffs and paving the way for freer movement between the two nations.
The agreement will provide a $970 million economic boost to the economies of the UK and New Zealand, entirely removing tariffs on most goods produced in each country.
“We have achieved really ambitious tariff elimination in some areas that are critical for us,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said when announcing the details of the deal.
The UK is currently New Zealand’s seventh-largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth $6 billion in the year to March 2020. Once the deal is signed, it is expected to boost exports by 40 per cent and New Zealand’s gross domestic product by $970 million.
“We’ve got an agreement in principle here; the deal is done, and so now it’s on to concluding their finer parts of that agreement and seeing it come into force next year,” said Ardern.
Most significantly for CANZUK, the agreement will provide for an easing of visa requirements between the countries for business contractors, professionals and visitors.
Although provisions have not yet been negotiated for expanding working holiday visas for those under 35 between the two nations, it is highly expected that such arrangements will be negotiated outside of the trade agreement in the coming months.
Negotiating such visa provisions outside of the trade deal will likely emulate those of the Australia-UK trade deal, where a trade deal was negotiated in principle, but Ministers will hold additional meetings to propose the introduction of three-year reciprocal visas for those under 40.
“Our expectation is that we will be able to improve and extend the arrangement that we already have in place now,” said Ardern. “I myself was one of the benefactors of that scheme, I have an understanding of the bits that we wanted to improve and extend for New Zealanders and that is what I’m confident we’ll be able to do.”
CANZUK International is delighted with the in-principle agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and will continue to lobby for extended provisions regarding visa liberalization and mobility between the two nations.
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