Trade Minister To Travel To Europe, Canada And Australia To Advance Economic Recovery

New Zealand’s trade agenda continues to build positive momentum as Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor travels to Europe, Canada and Australia to advance New Zealand’s economic interests.

“Our trade agenda has excellent momentum, and is a key part of the Government’s wider plan to help provide economic security for New Zealanders as the world faces global disruption and uncertainty,” Damien O’Connor said.

“New Zealand’s goods and services are in demand around the world. We are continuing to improve market access for Kiwi businesses and build on the gains we’ve achieved through the UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), CPTPP, RCEP, and China FTA upgrade. We see this as key to our future economic security.

“In Belgium, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and I will progress our NZ-EU FTA with European leaders, following intensive remote work to date from New Zealand.

“To underline our strong commitment to conclude negotiations that secure the best possible deal for New Zealand exporters, I will meet with the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, and the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski.

“The NZ-EU FTA agreement is also of broader importance at this time of geo-political uncertainty, and it is crucial that like-minded partners such as New Zealand and the EU continue to promote the international rules-based system.

“I will also travel to the UK to further promote bilateral trade, business and people-to-people links, following on from the signing of our historic NZ-UK FTA in February.

“In Ottawa, I will meet Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng, to strengthen bilateral trade, especially through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). I will also visit Toronto to engage with Kiwi businesses, with a particular focus on the tech sector.

“Two-way trade with Canada was valued at just under $1.6 billion for the year ending September 2021, making them a significant trading partner, however our services exports took a hit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This trip will help us reconnect with Canada by learning from and supporting New Zealand businesses on the ground in that market,” Damien O’Connor said.

The final leg of Damien O’Connor’s trip will see him join the Prime Minister at the annual Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney.

He is scheduled to depart on Friday 24 June for Europe.