Britain reassures New Zealand on post-Brexit trade access

WELLINGTON, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — New Zealand has been assured its trade interests with Britain will not be affected by Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said Tuesday.

The two countries had established a trade policy dialogue during talks between McClay and British Trade Secretary Liam Fox in London, McClay said in a statement from his office.

“For New Zealand, this is about being ready to cement our formal trading relationship with our fifth largest trading partner, once the UK is in a position to negotiate independently of the European Union,” McClay said.

“I discussed with Secretary Fox the importance of remaining closely engaged, particularly as New Zealand advances our priority of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union,” he said.

“I thanked Secretary Fox for assurances that New Zealand’s trade interests will not be compromised by Brexit.”

The trade policy dialogue would be an important forum for engaging across a range of shared trade policy issues, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as it developed its approach to trade policy.

The dialogue would be convened at senior officials’ level and cover market access and trade policy issues of mutual interests, including WTO processes and current and prospective negotiations.

The first meeting will take place by early 2017, with subsequent talks to be held roughly every six months.

McClay is also scheduled to discuss progress on an FTA with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstr?m during World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Norway later this week. Enditem

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