New Zealand and United Kingdom seal free trade deal
The United Kingdom and New Zealand announced a free trade agreement Wednesday as Britain continues to strike economic relationships after its departure from the European Union.
The deal will cut red tape for businesses, end tariffs on UK exports, and create new opportunities for tech and services companies, according to a Downing Street statement.
Prime ministers Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern sealed the deal in a joint Zoom call, following 16 months of negotiations.
"This is a great trade deal for the United Kingdom, cementing our long friendship with New Zealand and furthering our ties with the Indo-Pacific," Johnson said.
The deal follows advanced free trade agreements already struck by the United Kingdom in the region with Australia and Japan.
"This deal serves New Zealand's economy and exporters well as we reconnect, rebuild and recover from Covid-19, and look forward into the future," Ardern said at a news conference in Wellington.
All tariffs on all products will be eliminated between both countries. UK-New Zealand trade was worth £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion) last year and is set to grow under the new arrangement.
During the Zoom call, Johnson said that New Zealand products loved by British consumers will be available for cheaper, from Sauvignon Blanc wine to Manuka honey and kiwi fruit.
Ardern, meanwhile, called the United Kingdom and New Zealand "great friends and close partners."
"The historical connections that bind us run deep," she said, adding that the trade deal is "good for our economies, our businesses and our people."