New Zealand eyes free trade deal with EU, Key says

José Manuel Barroso ‏and John Key now at margins of @NSS2014 (@BarrosoEU)

New Zealand and the European Union will look at ways to deepen their relationship, which may lead to a free trade deal, Prime Minister John Key says.

The EU, which covers 28 states in Europe, has opened the door for a free trade agreement for the first time, among options to deepen its trade and economic relationship with New Zealand to consider over the coming year. Key met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman van Rompuy during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

"This is a significant development. We've always said a free trade agreement is the obvious next step," Key said. "We're not there yet, but the issue is now on the agenda - and that's a step forward. We're going to come back to this in 2015 to take decisions on what to do next."

New Zealand lifted exports to the EU 3.7 percent to $4.72 billion in the year ended Jan. 31, while imports from the region rose 11 percent to $8.2 billion in the same period, according to government figures.

The EU will also upgrade its diplomatic mission in Wellington, New Zealand with its first resident ambassador.

The overtures come as New Zealand deepens its economic relations in Asia and China in particular. New Zealand is engaged in two pan-Asia free trade negotiations, the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

(BusinessDesk)

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7838 0.0010 0.13%
AUD 0.8932 -0.0009 -0.10%
EUR 0.6199 0.0011 0.18%
GBP 0.4888 0.0005 0.10%
HKD 6.0802 0.0082 0.14%
JPY 84.7660 0.1190 0.14%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1228.6 -12.490 2014-10-23T00:
Oil Brent 86.8 2.120 2014-10-23T00:
Oil Nymex 82.0 1.530 2014-10-23T00:
Silver Index 17.1 -0.080 2014-10-23T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5292.8 5344.4 5292.8 0.77%
NASDAQ 4427.4 4475.6 4382.9 1.60%
DAX 9008.6 9044.9 9047.3 -0.20%
DJI 16468.1 16767.5 16461.3 1.32%
FTSE 6419.1 6419.1 6419.1 -0.31%
HKSE 23311.9 23352.6 23333.2 -0.13%
NI225 15354.4 15377.0 15139.0 1.01%