New Zealand-Korea FTA initialled

Negotiators have initialled the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, paving the way for its signing early next year.

Trade Minister Tim Groser says the next step is for the text to be translated into Korean before it is finally signed off.

“This FTA will deliver real economic benefits to both our countries. It will secure our position in the Korean market and will create more opportunities for traders as tariffs are gradually removed,” Mr Groser says.

On entry into force, tariffs will be eliminated on 48% of New Zealand exports with an estimated duty saving of $65 million in the first year alone. Duties on New Zealand’s exports will largely be eliminated within 15 years.

Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination for goods and services and eighth largest import source of goods and services, with total two-way trade of $4 billion in the year ending June 2014.