Thursday, May 23, 2024

Canterbury heralds new EU FTA as ‘game changer’ for region

Business Canterbury has welcomed today’s commencement of the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), heralding it as a ‘game changer’ for the region.

The agreement, which has been highly anticipated by businesses, promises immediate tariff eliminations and new quota opportunities that will boost Canterbury’s export revenue significantly over the next five years, Business Canterbury (formerly the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce) said in a statement.

“This agreement is a game-changer for our members and the wider Canterbury business community. It’s not just about the immediate financial gains from reduced tariffs, but also about the long-term opportunities for growth and partnership with European markets,” said Chief Executive, Leeann Watson (pictured).

“The timing of the FTA’s entry into force means that Canterbury’s horticulture exports will benefit from substantial tariff savings this season, with onion growers expecting $3 million in tariff savings.”

Canterbury should be in line to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional export revenue over the next five to seven years, which is perfect timing given the challenging economic conditions we are seeing across the country right now, said Ms Watson.

“Beyond agriculture, service exporters are now better positioned to compete in the European market, levelling the playing field against competitors from the UK, Singapore, and local businesses.”

“The agreement also facilitates the movement of staff and their families into the European market, which is crucial for businesses looking to expand their operations or collaborate internationally.”

Ms Watson said Business Canterbury was set up well to support expansion into the European market and has a dedicated Global Trade team ready to assist businesses in taking full advantage of the FTA.

More information on its global trade support can be found on the Business Canterbury website.

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