FTA between China, New Zealand now in full implementation: Chinese Embassy

2024-01-11 09:06:06Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

All dairy products exported from New Zealand to China are now able to enter China duty-free and quota-free, reflecting China's fulfillment of its commitments of tariff elimination under the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and the full implementation of the FTA, the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand said on Wednesday.

With the special safeguard measures on milk powder removed as of January 1, 2024, as part of the China-New Zealand FTA, all New Zealand dairy products are now able to enter China duty-free and quota-free, a spokesperson for the embassy said in a statement released on its website.

According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a WTO member may take a "safeguard" action under the WTO Agreement on Safeguards to protect a specific domestic industry from an increase in imports of any product which is causing, or which is threatening to cause serious injury to the industry.

"It's really good news not only for dairy farmers but [also for] the New Zealand economy," New Zealand Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said, according to local media reports

New Zealand's annual dairy exports to China have averaged 1.4 million tons annually during the past three years, around half of which is milk powder, Radio New Zealand reported.

China signed the FTA with New Zealand in April 2008, which came into force in October the same year. It was China's first comprehensive bilateral FTA covering trade in goods, services and investment, and also an FTA China entered into in a world first for any developed country. 

Since it was signed and entered into force in 2008, the FTA, as a propeller for bilateral trade, underpinned economic cooperation between the two countries and brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, the spokesperson said.

Total trade in goods between China and New Zealand increased from $4.4 billion in 2008 to $25.4 billion in 2022, growing at an average annual rate of 13 percent, while New Zealand's exports to China have shown an average annual growth rate of 17 percent. 

For more than 10 years ever since, China has been New Zealand's largest trading partner, export destination and import source.

The huge Chinese market has also brought enormous trade, economic and job opportunities for New Zealand, while quality products made, assembled or produced in China at affordable prices have played an important role in keeping a lid on the cost of living for New Zealanders. With all New Zealand dairy products now able to enter China duty free, it is expected to inject new impetus into our bilateral practical economic and trade cooperation, the spokesperson said.

"Standing at a promising new start, the two countries will embrace unprecedented new opportunities to deepen our cooperation across the board, the spokesperson said, adding that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and New Zealand. China stands ready to join hands in hands with New Zealand, and take the opportunity to tap into potentials of bilateral cooperation with mutual benefits.

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