11 Jul 2013

NZ strengthens trade ties with Taiwan

12:34 pm on 11 July 2013

The New Zealand Government has entered into an economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan to boost trade ties.

The directors of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office and the Taiwan Economic Cultural office signed the deal.

The agreement is expected to cement stronger ties with Taiwan on economic and trade matters.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said it will deliver real benefits to New Zealand exporters by removing trade tariffs on goods entering Taiwan.

The agreement will also encourage co-operation on labour and environmental issues and more frequent air services between the two counties.

The deal will immediately eliminate tariffs for more than 70% of exports and will eventually cover all New Zealand sales.

Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said New Zealand's trade with Taiwan is growing, but not fast enough.

He said he hopes lower tariffs might change this.

New Zealand's trade with Taiwan has been growing by 2.8% per year at a time when Taiwan's economic growth is 3.5% year.

The deal was signed by private negotiators because New Zealand has a Free Trade Agreement with China,

China has a territorial claim on Taiwan, despite Taiwan's de facto independence.