2008-04-07

China-New Zealand free trade deal

China and New Zealand sign free trade deal (Associated Press, 7/4/07)

To be implemented in October 2008, New Zealand (pop: 4m) is the first developed country to reach a free trade agreement with China (pop: 1,300m).

Tariffs on New Zealand's exports to China that are currently set at 5 percent or less will be cut to zero.

For New Zealand exports that face larger tariffs, there will be a staggered timeframe for cuts, with 31 percent of New Zealand's exports to China slated for tariff-free status by 2013.

Tariffs on dairy products, a primary New Zealand export, will be phased out over a longer time frame, taking until 2019 when almost all of the country's current exports to China will be tariff free.

"The FTA provides for elimination over time of tariffs on 96 percent of New Zealand's current exports to China," a New Zealand government statement said.

Beyond trade in goods, the agreement covers the services sector, from insurance and banking to education and labor supply.

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New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement