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New Zealand launches Hong Kong trade agreement

Published 01 January 2014, from AFP

Agence France Presse | 03 January 2011 | WELLINGTON

New Zealand and Hong Kong launched a Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) Monday which New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said was part of a regional drive towards trade growth through liberalisation.

"I am pleased to confirm that Hong Kong and New Zealand have both completed the necessary legislative measures and that the CEP has come into force," he said.

"As the only two developed economies with Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with China, New Zealand and Hong Kong have both mitigated the worst effects of the global recession through our businesses’ performance in that dynamic market."

Under the agreement, New Zealand goods currently entering Hong Kong at a zero tariff will be bound at that level and remaining tariffs will be progressively reduced to mirror those in the New Zealand-China FTA.

Hong Kong is New Zealand’s ninth largest export market, worth 865 million dollars (675 million US) in the year to October 2010.

Groser said the "strategic importance" of the CEP is that it will help New Zealand companies in Hong Kong as well as support companies building business in China from a Hong Kong base.

The CEP represents part of a "wider regional drive towards growth in trade through liberalisation" which has seen New Zealand conclude FTAs with Singapore, the P4 countries (Brunei, Chile and Singapore), Thailand, China, ASEAN and Malaysia, he said.

New Zealand is currently negotiating Free Trade Agreements with India, South Korea and Russia.


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