Zespri supports the aims announced by the Government today to redouble efforts to expand New Zealand’s network of free trade agreements and improve access to markets for New Zealand exporters.
Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager says that Trade Agenda 2030, a refresh of New Zealand’s trade policy strategy, is a welcome and important step that can deliver significant benefit for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.
“The reality is that New Zealand is a small nation reliant on exporting to earn our way in the world so gaining competitive access to international markets is vital to our future prosperity,” says Mr Jager.
For example, during 2016 the New Zealand kiwifruit industry paid over $70 million in import tariffs in various markets. This is equivalent to around an average of $25,000 for every grower in New Zealand, if tariff relief were passed straight through to New Zealand growers.
Moreover, the elimination of tariffs in key markets would also create benefit for consumers by enabling more competitive pricing.
“The value of better market access is significant for our industry, with strong supply growth of New Zealand kiwifruit planned in the coming years to meet consumer demand around the world,” says Mr Jager.