7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Business News

New Zealand plans FTA with GCC

WELLINGTON: New Zealand will likely enter talks for a free trade agreement with the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council, Trade Minister Phil Goff said yesterday.

The council proposed the trade deal during Goff's visit to the region last week.

Goff told National Radio he would take a proposal to open free trade talks with the grouping to the New Zealand cabinet next week.

He said New Zealand should not fall behind trading rivals like Australia and the European Union who are already negotiating free trade deals with the Gulf states.

"Clearly that would disadvantage New Zealand exporters," he said.

"The bulk of the (New Zealand) trade is in dairy and meat products. They currently face tariff levels of around 4-5 per cent," he said, adding it would a "positive step" to reduce that cost.

New Zealand trade with the six council states currently totals 500 million New Zealand dollars ($301m) a year, while trade into New Zealand is double that level.

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