Better business links to double New Zealand-Italy trade

WELLINGTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — Italy and New Zealand have committed to doubling two-way trade, New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said Tuesday.

McClay, leading a New Zealand business delegation to Europe, said he reached the agreement with Italian Deputy Minister for Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto during talks in Milan.

However, the statement from McClay’s office gave no timeline for when the doubling of trade would be reached.

Two-way trade currently stands at 1.5 billion NZ dollars (1.06 billion U.S. dollars) and is focused on machinery, hides and wool, food and beverage, and technology.

The two ministers believed two-way trade could double and had committed to create more business-to-business links to foster it.

“Another way to expand trade ties is through the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union, which will bring win-win outcomes for both countries,” said McClay.

The European Union (EU) is New Zealand’s third largest trade partner, but New Zealand is one of six World Trade Organization members having no FTA with the EU.

The two sides agreed in October 2015 to start negotiations on an FTA.

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