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NZ Business Leaders Seek More Free Trade Deals

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

22 October 2014


New Zealand business leaders and executives are calling for the nation to conclude a greater number of free trade agreements, with 81 percent identifying that new agreements would provide substantial opportunities for growth.

The findings are included in a survey from Grant Thornton, which came alongside news that New Zealand was successful in its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. According to New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, membership will provide an opportunity to discuss trade and economic relationships with other member countries.

Grant Thornton New Zealand Partner and National Director, Tax, Greg Thompson says the five permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK and the US) are large markets, but some of the non-permanent members are also important trade partners for New Zealand. He pointed out that New Zealand has been negotiating an agreement with Russia and its Customs Union partners, Belarus and Kazakhstan, since 2010, and has been in negotiations towards an FTA with South Korea, the world's 15th largest economy, since 2009.

However, he pointed out that Security Council membership will not help advance all of New Zealand's FTA aspirations, namely with India, Thompson said: "Since 2010 New Zealand has [also] been negotiating with India, where there is big demand from industry for raw materials and intermediate products, and from the growing middle class for goods and services."

TAGS: Russia | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | India | export duty | China | agreements | Belarus | France | Kazakhstan | New Zealand | import duty | trade | services | Tax

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