4 Dec 2013

Trade with Taipei looking all apples

7:21 am on 4 December 2013

Pipfruit New Zealand sees the potential for exports to Taiwan to double, as the result of tariffs being removed this week.

Import duties on milk powder, cheese, butter, cherries and wine exports have also been eliminated as the result of an Economic Cooperation Agreement taking effect between New Zealand and the Customs Territory of Taipei, which includes Taiwan.

The Government estimates that will mean will mean tariff savings of nearly $40 million on the current trade.

New Zealand shipped 10,000 tonnes of apples to Taiwan this year with a 20% tariff which added $7 to $8 a carton.

The removal of the tariff will make New Zealand apples more competitive against other suppliers such as the United States.

Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Allan Pollard says demand will definitely increase as a result.

There's very much a shift from west to east and taiwan plays a very important part in that whole Asian strategy

More than 40% New Zealand's apple exports now go to Asia and the Middle East. The trade there has grown from $325 million in 2010 to an estimated $500 million this year.

The New Zealand Taipei trade agreement has also wiped out tariffs on most dairy products, and nearly all will be tariff free within four years. The exception, liquid milk, will have a 12 year transition.

Tariffs on beef will be eliminated in two years and tariffs on kiwifruit in three.

In four years, import duties on sheepmeat, honey and most fish products will also end and 99% of New Zealand's trade to Chinese Taipei will be tariff-free.