Upgraded China-New Zealand FTA comes into effect

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 8, 2022
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A visitor consults with an exhibitor at the booth of honey products from New Zealand at the Food and Agricultural Products exhibition area during the third China International Import Expo in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 7, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

A protocol on upgrading the free trade agreement (FTA) between China and New Zealand took effect Thursday, aiming at further facilitating bilateral trade and investment, said China's Ministry of Commerce.

The two sides will further open the markets for goods, services and investment while optimizing rules to promote trade facilitation, according to the protocol.

In terms of trade in goods, China pledges to gradually eliminate tariffs within 10 years on 12 categories of wood and paper products imported from New Zealand, such as wood fiberboard, napkins and writing paper.

As for trade in services, China will deepen opening-up in fields including aviation, construction, sea transport and finance, while New Zealand will open its market wider in areas including legal services, engineering and management consulting.

New Zealand will lower its threshold for reviewing Chinese investors, allowing them to receive the same review treatment as members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

To enhance trade facilitation, the two sides will work together to optimize rules of origin, customs-clearance procedures and regulations related to technical barriers.

Bilateral cooperation will also be strengthened in the fields of e-commerce, competition policy, government procurement, the environment and trade, according to the protocol.

It has improved the quality and efficiency of bilateral trade relations on the basis of the China-New Zealand FTA and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, said the ministry.

The protocol will help deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields between the two sides, release the dividends of high-level opening-up, promote bilateral trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and constantly enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

China signed an FTA with New Zealand in April 2008, which came into force in October the same year. The two sides announced the conclusion of their three-year negotiations on the upgrade in November 2019 and signed a protocol in January 2021.

Since the bilateral FTA came into force, trade between the two sides has registered rapid growth.

In 2021, bilateral trade hit a record high of 24.72 billion U.S. dollars, surging 36.4 percent year on year. The trade volume was about 5.6 times as much as that in 2008 when the FTA was first signed.

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