New Zealand, Gulf states agree free trade deal
Wellington, November 2, 2009
New Zealand has reached a free trade agreement with the Gulf states, its seventh biggest trading partner, aimed at boosting business worth around NZ$3.8 billion ($2.8 billion), the trade minister said on Monday.
"While there has been a real focus on the Asia Pacific region of late, this FTA will provide a strong platform for export growth into a region that is likely to emerge strongly from the global recession," said Trade Minister Tim Groser.
The agreement, concluded after six rounds of negotiations, needs legal and technical work before a final signature in the first half of 2010.
New Zealand's exports to the Gulf states totalled NZ$1.3 billion in the year to June 2009, comprising largely dairy, sheep meat, and wood products.
New Zealand has separate trade deals with Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and China, and most recently the 10-nation Asean group. - Reuters