Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA

 Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA

New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced.

“We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and help drive New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID,” Damien O’Connor said.

On Thursday the UK’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Damien O’Connor concluded a day of detailed talks in London and issued a joint statement on Friday, UK time.

Negotiating teams will now accelerate talks and spend the coming weeks finalising details with the aim of reaching agreement in principle in August.

“My visit to London has been timely and constructive. There’s been real value in meeting face to face with Secretary Truss. During our discussions I reaffirmed New Zealand’s wish to see a high quality agreement concluded with the UK as swiftly as possible,” Damien O’Connor said.

“For New Zealand that means receiving a market access offer that eliminates tariffs and provides commercially meaningful access from day one of the agreement.

“Achieving an ambitious deal remains our priority. Building on the outcomes of our discussions in London this week, we are both confident that our negotiating teams will be able to make important progress over the coming weeks,” Damien O’Connor said.

In London, Damien O’Connor also met with Minister of State in the Cabinet Office Lord Frost, and had engagements with key Parliamentary and industry representatives.

In his capacity as Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor also had a valuable meeting with UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice. They discussed the challenges and opportunities for our respective primary and food producing sectors and the valuable role that an FTA could play in our economic recovery.

Damien O’Connor departs the UK on Monday morning for Brussels where he will meet with his trade counterpart to advance New Zealand’s FTA negotiations with the European Union.

He will return to New Zealand on 25 June and will complete two weeks in managed isolation and quarantine.

Joint Statement from New Zealand and UK governments:

The UK and New Zealand yesterday (Thursday 17 June) held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that will support sustainable and inclusive trade. Both countries are confident that the remaining issues will be resolved, with talks on track to deliver a fantastic agreement.

UK International Trade Secretary and New Zealand Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor concluded a day of detailed talks yesterday in London. 

Negotiating teams will now accelerate talks and spend the coming weeks finalising details with the aim of reaching agreement in principle in August.

ENDS

Media contact: Sean O’Brien 022-367-7326sean.o’brien@parliament.govt.nz

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