14:08 | 19/10/2016 Global Economy
The New Zealand government said on October 17 that it was to review its free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN, citing a rising number of non-tariff barriers that hindered bilateral trade.
New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay
New Zealand’s Trade Minister, Todd McClay, said the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand FTA had lifted New Zealand’s trade with the region by 25% since 2010 when it came into force.
The deal has reduced or eliminated tariffs across many of New Zealand’s exports into key Southeast Asian markets. It is expected to deliver US$50.42 million in cost-savings for New Zealand exporters this year and US$68.18 million once the staged elimination of tariffs is completed after 2020.
However, McClay said exporters of both goods and services were facing an increasing number of non-tariff barriers in Southeast Asia, such as import quotas, subsidies, customs delays and technical barriers, which are holding them back.
The government review will take place ahead of a comprehensive review of AANZFTA by New Zealand, Australia and ASEAN countries next year.
According to McClay, the review will help the country to better understand the business perspective before going into the broader review, as well as seeking possible improvements to the agreement.
The introduction of more liberal and transparent trade rules under the FTA helped to increase New Zealand’s trade with ASEAN from US$8.52 billion in 2010 to over US$10.66 billion last year./.