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NZ and Juncker

EU and New Zealand to open FTA negotiations

30 October 2015

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, and Presidents Tusk and Juncker, agreed on 29 October to start scoping talks for a potential FTA. The two sides have already signed a political partnership agreement so this is the logical next step. The EU had been reluctant to open further FTA negotiations as DG Trade was already stretched with TTIP, the EU-Japan FTA and trade negotiations with other countries. Now it seems the way is clear for talks between two very like-minded partners in global affairs.

The statement released on 29 October said "The European Union and New Zealand are longstanding and close partners. We share core values, common interests and a growing and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship, reinforced by strong people-to-people and cultural ties. We came together today to agree to further deepen our political, security, trade and investment relations. 

We welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations of the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation. This agreement captures the breadth of our relationship and provides a strong foundation for the expansion of our relations in the decades to come. We have each committed to pursue its full and swift implementation.  

Today we committed to start the process for negotiations to achieve swiftly a deep and comprehensive high-quality Free Trade Agreement. Discussions to define the scope and overall approach to the negotiations should start as soon as possible. In parallel with this, we agreed to take steps to seek the necessary authorisation for the negotiations on the basis of a successful scoping. We believe that a FTA will support sustainable growth and investment, opening up new trade and business opportunities and generating new employment for our peoples."