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EU, New Zealand sign deal expected to boost trade by 30 per cent

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) – The European Union (EU) signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand yesterday that the two sides expect will increase bilateral trade by up to 30 per cent within a decade.

New Zealand will gain up to NZD1.8 billion (USD1.1 billion; EUR1 billion) in exports to the 27-country bloc every year, a government statement said.

The deal brokered over five years will cut NZD248 million a year in duties, a European Commission statement said.

“New Zealand is a key partner for us in the Indo-Pacific region and this free trade agreement will bring us even closer together. With today’s signature, we have taken an important step in making the agreement a reality,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Duties will be removed on 91 per cent of New Zealand’s goods exported to the EU from the start of the agreement, rising to 97 per cent after seven years. The deal has yet to be ratified by the two sides’ Parliaments and a start date set.