Sunday, May 19, 2024

PM to witness historic EU trade agreement signing in Brussels

Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins will leave for Brussels on Friday to witness the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement signing before heading to Stockholm and the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Lithuania.

Mr Hipkins said the long-awaited trade deal would unlock access to the world’s third biggest market and deliver immediate tariff savings on New Zealand exports to the EU of around $100 million a year when it enters into force.

“I said trade would be a key focus for me this year and securing this deal will be a major boost for our economy,” the Prime Minister said.

“Modelling suggests exports to the European Union will increase by up to $1.8 billion per annum and add up to $1.4 billion to New Zealand’s GDP per year once fully implemented.

“This is an important milestone towards entry into force of this high-quality and historic free trade agreement,” he said.

EU Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis.

Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor will join the Prime Minister in Brussels to sign the agreement. EU Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, will sign the FTA on behalf of the EU, alongside EU President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured, main photo).

New Zealand will also sign the Horizon Europe Association Agreement, which is the European Union’s main research and innovation framework and funding platform. It is the largest multilateral research programme in the world.

“Associating to Horizon Europe will provide new opportunities for New Zealand scientists to collaborate with European partners on research to address major global challenges such as climate change, energy and health,” Mr Hipkins said.

The Prime Minister will meet with his Swedish counterpart Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Johan Forssell in Stockholm, before travelling to Lithuania for the NATO Leaders’ Summit.

The PM said that participating in the Summit demonstrated the importance that New Zealand places on its longstanding partnership with NATO.

“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine fundamentally undermines the international rules-based system that is so important to New Zealand. It has had significant impacts on the global economy, as well as New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Mr Hipkins said.

“The Summit in Vilnius gives New Zealand the opportunity to contribute our perspective to leaders’ discussions on these matters of global importance.”

Mr Hipkins will also hold significant bilateral meetings with foreign leaders on the sidelines of the Summit.

He will leave New Zealand on Friday 7 July and returns on 14 July, while Minister O’Connor will return on 12 July. 

“I look forward to advancing trade and economic opportunities arising from the NZ-EU FTA and conveying our thanks to Sweden for their support throughout the negotiations, especially during their recent term as EU President,” Mr O’Connor said.

Latest Articles