UK and New Zealand agree on trade deal

LONDON (AFP) – Britain on Wednesday announced that they had agreed on a trade deal with New Zealand – the latest to be struck since the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) last year.

The deal was agreed earlier on Wednesday in a video call between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern, following 16 months of talks.

Johnson described it as a “great trade deal for the UK, cementing our long friendship with New Zealand and furthering our ties with the Indo-Pacific”.

Ardern said the deal “lays the foundations for even stronger connections as both countries embark on a new phase in our relationship. It is good for our economies, our businesses and our people”.

London said the deal ends tariffs on British exports such as clothing, footwear, ships and bulldozers.

It estimated that trade between the two countries last year was worth GBP2.3 billion.

Tariffs on goods coming the other way, such as kiwi fruits, will also be axed.

The deal follows agreements struck with Australia and Japan, which Britain hopes will ultimately lead it to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free-trade area of 11 Pacific nations.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Trade Minister Damien O’Connor on video link in Wellington, New Zealand. PHOTO: AP