New Zealand Looks To Bolster Post-Brexit Trade Links With EU, Britain

WELLINGTON, Oct 14 (Bernama) — New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay will be in Europe next week to shore up trade relations with the European Union (EU) and Britain in the wake of the Brexit vote, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

McClay will meet British Trade Secretary Liam Fox in London to discuss post-Brexit trade relations, and seek to advance progress on an EU-New Zealand free trade agreement (FTA) with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom during World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Norway.

“The EU-New Zealand FTA is a priority, as is our relationship with the UK. We are grateful for the strong assurances we have received that New Zealand’s trade interests with both the EU and the UK will not be affected by the Brexit vote,” McClay said in a statement on Friday.

“My meeting with Secretary Fox will be an opportunity to again reinforce the importance of our trading relationship and that New Zealand will seek a trade deal with the UK once they are in a position to do so.”

McClay would meet with Malmstrom in Oslo to discuss progress towards the launch of an FTA with the EU.

He would also discuss potential outcomes for the 11th WTO Ministerial meeting, due to be held in Buenos Aires in late 2017, with other WTO ministers.

“The 10th WTO Ministerial meeting in Nairobi in December 2015 represented a significant outcome for New Zealand and global trade, particularly the historic commitment to eliminate agricultural export subsidies and New Zealand is committed to achieving a similar result next year,” said McClay.

McClay will also travel to Portugal to discuss the EU-New Zealand FTA and bilateral issues with Portuguese counterparts, and meet industry leaders.

— BERNAMA

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