New Zealand’s fresh produce exporters are amongst the major benefactors from a free trade agreement (FTA) with Taiwan, less than 12 months after the bilateral deal was signed.
According to a report by New Zealand’s Business Day, the value of country’s overall exports to the Asian nation rose by 32 per cent over the first five months of 2014. Trade growth over the 12 months to June 30 2014 was less encouraging, increasing 13.9 per cent, with a total value of NZ$986m (US$834m).
Prior to ratification of the free trade agreement in December last year, only 25 per cent of New Zealand's trade entered Taiwan duty-free.
“New Zealand has made about $40m duty savings to date which is better than we expected,” Dean Prebble, director of the New Zealand Trade Development Centre in Taipei, told Business Day. “The agreement with New Zealand is always spoken of as a model FTA.”
Taiwan is a key destination for New Zealand kiwifruit exports, with shipments to Asian nation totalling 6.2m trays in 2012/2013, at a value of US$88.5m, making it Zespri’s seventh largest market globally.
New Zealand’s apple and cherry industries are also looking to ramp-up their sales into Taiwan, following the removal of respective 20 per cent and 7.5 per cent tariff rates under the FTA.