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New Zealand | Brussels, 7 March 2017

EU and New Zealand move a step further in expanding trade links

Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, and New Zealand’s Minister of Trade, Todd McClay, met today in Brussels to mark the end of preparatory talks for potential EU-New Zealand trade negotiations.

Over the last months, representatives from the EU and New Zealand have examined all bilateral economic issues to define the areas to be covered and the right level of ambition for any future negotiations.

As a next step, the European Commission will ask Member States for a negotiating mandate to negotiate on behalf of the EU on the basis of specific objectives. In parallel, the Commission is finalising its assessment of the potential impact of such a trade deal, taking into account the preliminary scope agreed today. This assessment will take into account new opportunities that an EU-New Zealand trade agreement could create for EU businesses, as well as agricultural sensitivities that need to be accommodated.

The discussions started in October 2015 based on new policy orientations set out in the EU trade and investment strategy "Trade for All". With annual bilateral trade amounting to more than €8 billion, the EU is New Zealand's second largest trading partner after Australia. For the EU, trade with New Zealand results in a positive trade balance of €1.3 billion, and EU companies hold nearly €10 billion in foreign direct investment in New Zealand. Any potential deal would aim to further deepen this trade and investment relationship. Video footage from today's meeting can be found on EbS.
 

More information on EU-New Zealand trade relations