Dean celebrates successes of trade deal for Waitaki's local produce

Waitaki news
Monday, December 1, 2014

Waitaki MP, Jacqui Dean, has congratulated the electorate's producers on their increased exports to Chinese Taipei since tariffs were largely removed a year ago.

Mrs Dean said the December 1 one year anniversary of the Economic Cooperation Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu was worthy of celebration.

"With virtually all tariffs on dairy products,cherries, apples and wine removed, that agreement has led to an increase in the sale of many of our locally produced goods. A direct example of that impact on local producers is Chinese Taipei is NZ's largest export cherry market taking around one third of total NZ cherry exports. Over the past 10 months exports of cherries there have increased by 18% (or $1.5 million) compared to the same period the year before."

"And we're aware our region produces its fair share of dairy product, apples and wine,"she said.

Since the agreement was signed, New Zealand exports to Chinese Taipei have increased by $150 million.

Trade is expected to increase further with 99 per cent of tariffs to be eliminated in four years.

Mrs Dean said Chinese Taipei is New Zealand's seventh-largest export market worth over $1 billion.

"Trade deals like this one mean our businesses can expand, creating more jobs and higher incomes. Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Korea have recently concluded, and I'm looking forward to the impact that deal will have on our region's economy," the MP said.