Historic free trade agreement with the European Union

We’ve secured a major free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) – a move that’s set to boost exports by $1.8 billion per annum, enhance our economic security, and enable New Zealand businesses to grow, by unlocking one of the world’s biggest and high value markets.

The new historic agreement will increase New Zealand’s GDP by up to $1.4 billion per year by 2035. This is fantastic news for Kiwi exporters and our economy, and comes on top of our recent $1 billion United Kingdom free trade agreement.

Great news for Kiwi businesses, and our economy

New Zealand products, such as our food and fibre goods, are some of the very best in the world. But our exporters have had to compete against barriers in the EU, such as tariffs, that others haven’t.

Our new agreement now levels the playing field for Kiwi businesses. It delivers tangible gains for exporters into a restrictive agricultural market, cuts costs and red tape for exporters, and creates exciting opportunities within the hugely important market of nearly 450 million high-value consumers.

The agreement provides significant benefits for lots of New Zealand’s world-class products, such as kiwifruit, fish and seafood, mānuka honey, apples, and more. Total savings on tariffs for exporters will be worth $110 million annually, with over $100 million slashed from day one.

As well as providing more opportunities for Kiwi businesses to diversify into high-value markets, the agreement cuts red tape for our wine producers, and creates room to grow traditional exports of red meat and dairy.

We’ve fought hard for our dairy and beef exporters and the deal could deliver up to $600 million in additional revenue. We’ve also secured an eight-fold increase in the volume of beef we can export, and we’ve improved access for our butter and cheese producers, some of which will now be able to trade with the European Union for the first time in many years.

New Zealand services are also a big winner. By cutting red tape, the deal now improves access into the EU for the education, engineering and professional services sectors. It also promotes the ease of movement of people for our Kiwi businesses making inroads into the EU.

We’ve also made sure to embed our values around climate change, sustainability and labour standards into the agreement – because in addition to being the best in the world, we need to be the best for the world.

The Māori Trade and Cooperation chapter will provide a valuable new platform to advance Māori economic aspirations in the EU – a first of its kind in an FTA for the EU.

Our trade agenda has great momentum. This is the fifth FTA the Government has concluded in the past five years and sits alongside upgrades to our existing agreements with Singapore and China. The increase in market access we’ve negotiated means 73.5% of our global exports are now covered by an FTA, up from only around 50 percent when we took office.

Unlocking opportunities for our exporters

Our Government is pursuing an ambitious trade policy to help Kiwi businesses succeed overseas.

This new agreement comes on top of our work to secure a $1 billion free trade agreement with the United Kingdom – which sees unprecedented access for our exporters, as well as upgrading our free trade agreement with China.

As New Zealand reconnects with the world, we’re continuing to position New Zealand globally as a great place to trade with, to support businesses and boost our economy.

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