New Zealand and the United Kingdom sign a free trade agreement

New Zealand and the United Kingdom sign a free trade agreement

According to a statement from Downing Street, the deal will cut red tape for companies, end tariffs on British exports and create new opportunities for technology and services companies.

Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern sealed the deal in a joint call after 16 months of negotiations.

“This is a big deal for the UK,” Johnson said, “it strengthens our longstanding friendship with New Zealand and strengthens our relationship with the Indo-Pacific.”

The agreement comes on the heels of advanced free trade agreements the UK has already had in the region with Australia and Japan.

“This work serves the New Zealand economy and exporters as we reconnect, rebuild, recover from COVID-19 and look to the future,” Ardern said at a news conference in Wellington.

All customs duties will be canceled on all products between the two countries. Trade between the UK and New Zealand moved by 2.3 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) last year and is expected to grow under the new agreement.

During the Zoom call, Johnson said New Zealand products that British consumers love will be available at a cheaper rate, from Sauvignon Blanc wine to manuka honey and kiwi.

Meanwhile, Ardern described the UK and New Zealand as “good friends and close partners”.

“The historical ties that bind us are deep,” she said, adding that the trade agreement “is beneficial to our economies, our companies and our people.”

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