The agreement, which was signed last week, will eliminate all tariffs on beef within two years and sheepmeat within four years, giving New Zealand a competitive edge on the Taiwanese market. It also includes mechanisms to address any non-tariff barriers to trade which may limit New Zealand agricultural exports to Taiwan.
Meat Industry Association chairman Bill Falconer said: “Taiwan is an important beef market, being our third most important by value (NZ$134m) and fourth by volume (19,647 tonnes) as at December 2012. Taiwan is New Zealand’s largest market for primary beef cuts, with New Zealand beef being well received because of its grass-fed origin and superior nutritional benefits.
“Demand for New Zealand sheepmeat is also strong in Taiwan, with New Zealand exporting NZ$52m (9,510t) of sheepmeat in 2012. New Zealand exports are predominantly frozen sheepmeat and historically have included a high proportion of mutton for traditional dishes,”
Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chairman, Mike Petersen, said the agreement “complements New Zealand’s existing free trade agreements with China and Hong Kong”.
In addition to the removal of tariffs on New Zealand red meat exports, which reached NZ$18m last year, the agreement will allow New Zealand firms to compete in tenders for Taiwanese Government procurement for the first time. Executive director of ExportNZ Catherine Beard said it also recognised cultural and environmental co-operation between the two countries.
“ExportNZ congratulates Minister Groser on the finalisation of the co-operation agreement with Taiwan, the good leadership of the Taiwanese authorities and acknowledges the efforts of the previous Labour Government in starting off the process,” she said.
“We hope that this high-quality agreement is an exemplar of the increasing trade liberalisation in the Asia-Pacific region, and for New Zealand this is very complementary to our other economic agreements with China and Hong Kong.”