Taiwan-New Zealand sign major trade deal
Taipei, July 12, 2013
Taiwan and New Zealand signed an economic co-operation agreement (ECA) in Wellington, opening a new chapter in trade relations between the two countries.
Negotiated in accordance with World Trade Organisation rules, the agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) contains 25 chapters, including some WTO-plus provisions more favourable than standard WTO obligations.
In addition to providing general market access, ANZTEC covers issues such as e-commerce, competition policy, the environment and co-operation between the indigenous peoples of Taiwan and New Zealand.
As a comprehensive ECA it aims to eliminate tariffs altogether.
Two-way trade between Taipei and New Zealand totalled $1.21 billion last year. Taiwan ranks No 10 and No 13 among New Zealand's export markets and import suppliers, respectively.
In the process of joining the WTO, Taiwan undertook a number of liberalisation measures and agreements regarding trade in services, enabling it to enter into ANZTEC based largely on existing conditions in this sector.
ANZTEC underscores Taiwan's commitment to trade liberalisation, readiness to seek similar deals with other trading partners and determination to participate in regional economic integration.
The agreement will help create favourable conditions for Taiwan's accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as New Zealand is a member of both.
The TPP is a proposed trade agreement also comprising negotiating partners Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US. Other nations such as Japan and South Korea are also looking to join discussions on the pact.
The RCEP is made up of 16 economies, including Australia, India, Japan and mainland China. If realised, the trading bloc will permit a greater flow of goods and services and encompasses a combined economic output of $20 trillion, or almost one-third of the global economy.-Reuters