NZ-Korea FTA cuts kiwifruit import duties
New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed entry-into-force of the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with kiwifruit industry likely to save millions of dollars on import tariffs next year.
McClay said the agreement, negotiated and signed by former Trade Minister Tim Groser, would bring significant commercial benefits to the country's exporters.
"From today, current duty-free access to the Korean market is 'bound in', and existing tariffs will be eliminated on [NZ]$793 million, or 48 per cent, of New Zealand exports," he said.
Along with the wine industry benefitting from an immediate full elimination of the 30% tariff on their exports to Korea, there is also cause for celebration in the kiwifruit and cherry sectors.
"New Zealand’s cherry exports will also now benefit from duty-free access, right in the middle of their growing season. The previous tariff on cherry exports was 24 per cent," he said.
"Kiwifruit exports will from today enjoy a 7.5% reduction in tariffs. Kiwifruit previously faced a 45% duty, and over the past year, New Zealand kiwifruit growers paid over $20 million in duties. Kiwifruit exporters will enjoy duty-free access to Korea in 2020.
"The FTA will also mean greater services and investment opportunities for New Zealand. Services exporters will benefit from substantially improved services market access commitments over and above Korea’s existing WTO commitments."
In addition, the FTA will also afford investments greater legal protections, as well as guaranteeing access for skilled service suppliers, intra-corporate transfers and business visitors to enter and stay temporarily in Korea to conduct their business.
"This FTA will enable New Zealand exporters to sell more products to Korea and grow their businesses, creating more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders," McClay said.