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New Zealand Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership

( Trade Minister Tim Groser has today signed the New Zealand Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) agreement, saying it is a significant achievement that further strengthens the economic links between New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

“The CEP complements our existing FTA with China and, given Hong Kong’s position as a regional trading and investment hub, supports New Zealand business engagement with the wider region.

“With a remarkable 43 percent increase in our exports to China over the past 12 months – an extra billion dollars of export revenue earned – there is real potential here for New Zealand.

“Our trade agreements with Hong Kong and China provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to increase our exports and our positive engagement with a region that will continue to be of central importance to our economy over the decades ahead,” said Mr Groser.

The CEP breaks new ground for Hong Kong, as it is their first agreement of this type, outside of their agreement with mainland China. For New Zealand, it adds to a growing collection of high quality and comprehensive FTAs in the region.

“This agreement is focused on cementing certainty of access to markets and establishing a clear framework for companies to operate within. It is designed to encourage ease of doing business and to foster the free flow of people, innovation and business engagement.

“The conclusion of the CEP will also help to raise the profile of New Zealand businesses in Hong Kong’s competitive consumer market and with regional distributors,” said Mr Groser.

The CEP is expected to enter into force in late 2010 following completion of the requisite domestic implementation procedures in both economies.

Media Release 29 March 2010 from Hon Tim Groser, Minister of Trade.
Telephone (04)817 6811



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