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New Zealand | Brussels, 29 October 2015

Trade leaders of New Zealand and the EU meet to discuss free trade agreement

EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and New Zealand’s Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, met today in Brussels to explore the possibilities of a future bilateral free trade agreement.

The meeting followed the announcement earlier today by President Juncker, President Tusk and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Key, of their shared commitment to engage in the process leading towards a high-quality free trade agreement.

Trade between the EU and New Zealand is growing, today accounting for 7.9 billion euros. To promote closer economic ties, both sides agreed that a future deal should be both ambitious and comprehensive. The shared aim is to set rules that correspond to the reality of global supply chains and the increasing international interdependence in manufacturing and the provision of services. The future agreement would also promote transparency of rules, the fight against corruption and coherence between economic benefits, workers' rights and environmental protection.

“New Zealand is a close partner of Europe that shares our values and views. I am committed to strengthen this partnership by working towards an ambitious trade agreement," said Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

Commissioner Malmström and Minister Groser also used this opportunity to exchange views on the preparation for the upcoming 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the ongoing talks on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) in which both the EU and New Zealand participate.

Background

The EU and New Zealand are close partners that share similar values and already cooperate closely on trade policy issues, including in the multilateral area.

Today's discussions follows a reflection process initiated in March 2014 and the Commission's subsequent plan to seek a Council authorisation to open negotiations, as mentioned in the EU trade and investment strategy of 14 October 2015.

In parallel to the preparatory talks with New Zealand and before seeking a mandate from EU Member States for launching the negotiations, the Commission will make an impact assessment, also taking EU agricultural sensitivities into account.

Further information

The EU's trade relations with New Zealand

Joint statement by President Juncker, President Tusk and New Zealand Prime Minister Key

Video of the joint press briefing by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister, Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade and Tim Groser, New Zealand's Minister of Trade