24 Mar 2015

Mixed fortunes from Korean trade deal

6:42 am on 24 March 2015

The Government says the long-awaited free trade agreement signed with South Korea yesterday puts this country on equal footing with competitors such as Australia.


Photo: 123RF

The FTA will eliminate almost half of the tariffs on New Zealand's current exports to Korea when it comes into force, and over time will remove 98 percent.

That includes the 45 percent import duty on kiwifruit, which will go in five years, and a 40 percent tariff on beef.

The deer industry, though, will largely miss out on getting tariffs reduced on antler velvet, used in oriental medicines and health foods.

The 20 percent tariff on frozen velvet, which makes up three-quarters of the trade, will remain, although the duty on dried or processed velvet will be phased out over 15 years.

As part of its efforts to develop the trade, Deer Industry New Zealand signed an agreement yesterday with its largest single customer, the Korea Ginseng Corporation, to develop more products containing New Zealand velvet.

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