New Zealand welcomes Korean FTA
The conclusion of the agreement was announced by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, and Korean President Park Geun-hye on 15 November.
It will see the current tariff of 40% on beef from New Zealand removed over a 15-year period.
Korea is New Zealand’s fourth-largest beef export market by volume, accounting for almost NZ$100m of beef exports last year. However, according to B+LNZ, trade volume dropped significantly in recent years, in part due to the tariff advantage that US beef exporters have benefited from following the country’s 2012 FTA with Korea. The tariff on US beef is currently at 32% and is also being phased out over a 15-year period.
Bill Falconer, chairman, of the Meat Industry Association in New Zealand, said: "We were at risk of losing our competitiveness in the Korean market, due to the US FTA and other deals that Korea has signed with beef exporters in recent months, but this deal will make sure we don’t fall further behind our competitors."
He said that ensuring meaningful access to Korea had been one of the industry’s highest priorities. Negotiations on the FTA had been taking place since 2009.
James Parsons, B+LNZ chairman, said: "We know this negotiation has been a tough one, but for our beef exports it is a lifeline in a market that we were at real risk of losing."