Zespri welcomes the passage of the Tariff Amendment Bill through parliament yesterday, which is a significant step towards the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea. The agreement will provide significant benefit for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. Ratification of the FTA this year would mean a 33% reduction in tariffs on exports of New Zealand kiwifruit to South Korea for next year’s kiwifruit season. During 2014, Zespri growers paid approximately $22 million in tariffs, with the rate set at 45 percent. The tariff for kiwifruit will reduce to zero over the next five years.
Zespri CEO Lain Jager comments, “We congratulate all those who have worked tirelessly to achieve this result. For Zespri, the elimination of the tariff means that we will be able to offer more competitive pricing to Korean consumers and therefore maintain a competitive position in the market as well as providing greater returns to New Zealand kiwifruit growers. This is a fantastic outcome for the industry and will ensure that South Korea remains a priority market for Zespri.” Zespri is projecting annual sales volume growth in Korea of over 10 per cent during the next five years.
“Zespri has worked with the governments of New Zealand and South Korea for a number of years at all levels to encourage the FTA process,” says Mr Jager. “It follows recent successes by the government of New Zealand in achieving tariff elimination through agreements with China and Taiwan.”
Mr Jager adds, “We now look forward to further progress by the government on other trade initiatives, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A high quality, comprehensive agreement among 12 Asia Pacific nations that eliminates tariffs will generate significant value for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, with our tariff payment in our largest market Japan alone being around $16 million in 2014.”
For more information, contact Zespri Communications Manager Oliver Broad on firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 509 1839.
About Zespri in South Korea
• South Korea is Zespri’s seventh-largest market in the world.
• Zespri is expecting sales volume growth in South Korea of over 10 percent a year during the next five years.
• Zespri has also invested in developing kiwifruit production in South Korea and has over 100 hectares of producing kiwifruit orchards supporting its 12-month supply to key markets.
• The current tariff rate for import of kiwifruit into South Korea from New Zealand is 45 percent.