Australia and New Zealand are about to start negotiations on a free trade agreement with the UK in what the Australian trade minister said was “a strong indication of our support for free trade” in the post-19-19 world.
Simon Birmingham said Australia was “ready to help the UK find new post-Brexit startups and in doing so, open new doors for our farmers, businesses and investors.”
“We have been preparing for the project since the UK has decided to leave the EU and accept its agreement to start negotiations,” Birmingham said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The UK is Australia’s seventh largest trading partner.
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Birmingham said Australia and the UK were hoping to finalize the deal as soon as possible – possibly by the end of this year, although he agreed that it would be a good time.
He said both sides needed a “long-term, broad-based agreement that builds relations with our people and creates new opportunities for exports, creating more jobs for our nations”.
“As both of our countries begin to focus on stimulating the economy from Covid-19, the UK-Australia FTA will help increase the opportunities and options to trade and secure stronger chains to withstand future shocks,” Birmingham said.
New Zealand’s trade minister, David Parker, gave Birmingham’s remarks.
“As the UK begins to take the next steps after Brexit, New Zealand is happy to be among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement with our old friend,” Parker said.
New Zealand and Britain have had close relationships, including strong trade and economic relations, common values and customs and shared history ”, he said.
The UK is New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner, trading in two ways worth about NZ $ 6bn last year. China, Australia and the EU’s top EU list.
Parker said discussions will focus on removing trade taxes, new ways to curb tax cuts, improved customs, regulated partnerships, improving digital trade provision and trading services to support sustainable development – including climate change.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said he hoped the price of 16% for kiwifruit, close to 16% for the manuka fence.
“As close friends, we look to each other in the face of challenges, now that we are working to rebuild and rebuild Covid-19 results,” Ardern told reporters.
Agriculture will be a very competitive problem; New Zealand lost its secret access to British markets in 1973 when the UK joined the European Economic Community, a predecessor of the EU, a sound that some in the first industries did.
“We are always involved in agricultural access issues,” said Parker, the minister of commerce. “Having said that, I think the United Kingdom has expressed the view that they want to be more open to the world after Brexit than before, so hopefully.” But he warned that nothing would be resolved while the Brexit negotiations were underway.
“We share in the desire to exempt the tax as much as possible, [including] agricultural goods,” said Laura Clarke, a British high commissioner to New Zealand. “But also the UK would like to see the gin prices – currently 5% – reduced, we would like to see the prices in cars – currently 10% – lower, so it will be a complete discussion.”
In a speech to the National Press Club of Australia on Wednesday, Birmingham said Australia would look for better market protection for agriculture, the removal of tariffs on wine and common rules for digital trading and investment.
The new talks come at a time when Australia is again negotiating a trade agreement with the European Union. Birmingham described the EU as “the biggest market for nearly 450 million people and as the bloc has become Australia’s largest trading platform