Wellington, May 5 (IANS) New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Friday announced that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and his country will take effect by the end of this month, unlocking unprecedented access to the British market.
The two sides have agreed to bring forward the entry into force of the FTA to May 31 which will eliminate all customs duties on all products and will benefit wine, seafood, honey, dairy, red meat and other Kiwi exports, Hipkins said during his visit to Britain.
"This is a gold-standard FTA, reflecting the close relationship between our two countries. The market access outcomes are among the very best New Zealand has secured in any trade deal," Xinhua news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
The entry into force of the new trade deal marks "a new chapter in the great friendship between our two countries", said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
"This deal will unlock new opportunities for businesses and investors across New Zealand and the UK, drive growth, boost jobs, and most importantly build a more prosperous future for the next generation," Sunak said.
New Zealand exporters will save approximately NZ$37 million per year in tariff elimination alone, Hipkins said, adding the earlier than expected entry into force is a much-needed boost for Kiwi exporters and helps economic recovery.
Britain is New Zealand's seventh largest trading partner and a crucial market for some of its key exports, he said.
The agreement is expected to boost New Zealand's gross domestic product by up to NZ$1 billionand expand Kiwi goods exports to Britain by more than 50 per cent, said Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor.
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