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New Zealand secures free trade deal with Britain

Wellington, Oct. 21 (BNA): New Zealand has secured a free trade deal with Britain, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday.

The new agreement would accelerate New Zealand’s Covid-19 economic recovery, Ardern said.

“This deal serves New Zealand’s economy and exporters well as we reconnect, rebuild and recover from COVID-19, and look forward into the future,” she said.

“It’s one of our best deals ever and secured at a crucial time in our COVID recovery.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal was “the cherry on the top of a long and lasting partnership” between the two countries.

“It is good for both our economies, boosting jobs and growth as we build back better from the pandemic. We already share deep ties of history, culture and values, and I look forward to the next chapter in our friendship.”

The agreement, which has been agreed in principle and whose text will be finalized in the coming months, would give New Zealand “unprecedented access” to the British market, Ardern said.

Britain would eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, saving exporters about 37.8 million New Zealand dollars (27.2 million US dollars) per year alone, dpa reports.

Britain was New Zealand’s seventh largest trading partner pre-Covid, with two-way trade worth nearly 6 billion dollars to March 2020.

New Zealand Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said the agreement would also be the first to include specific provisions on climate change.

“The United Kingdom has agreed to take concrete steps to eliminate subsidies on fossil fuels. New prohibitions have been agreed to combat over-fishing.”

New Zealand, after Australia, is the second country to secure a new free trade agreement with Britain post Brexit.

Source: Bahrain News Agency