The New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be put into force on Wednesday, New Zealand's Trade Minister Phil Goff said here on Tuesday.
"There has been an hugely positive response from New Zealand's business community to what the FTA with China - our third largest trading partner - offers. When the FTA was signed in Beijing in April 2008, government ministers were accompanied by 190 New Zealand business people," Goff said.
"Oct. 1, tariffs on 35 percent of our exports to China will be set at zero level and within five years two thirds of our exports will enter China tariff free. By the beginning of 2019, 96 percent of our exports will be free of tariffs," he added.
"This gives our exporters a significant competitive advantage in one of the world's largest markets. Export of goods to China is already worth about 2 billion NZ dollars (134 million U.S. dollars) a year, while China is our largest source of international students and now our fourth largest source of tourists," he said.
The estimated benefit to New Zealand of a free trade agreement is a growth in exports against baselines of between 225 million NZ dollars and 350 million NZ dollars a year and a reduction in tariff payments worth 115 million NZ dollars.
(Xinhua News Agency October 1, 2008)