IOE and IT chief hails NZ trade deal for trade digitalisation and service exports opportunities

Thu 21 Oct 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
IOE News

Director general of the Institute of Export & International Trade Marco Forgione has described the UK’s free trade deal with New Zealand, announced by the Department for International Trade at 10.30pm on Wednesday 20 October, as “good news for British exporters”.

Firms offering services would benefit from the deal’s “generous provisions on working in the respective countries,” Forgione said.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern met over video yesterday to agree in principle a deal that has been 16 months in the making and represents the UK’s second bespoke post-Brexit trade deal. 

Digitalising trade

Forgione singled out the agreement’s chapter on digitalisation chapter* as a sign of the deal’s commitment to improving customs procedures and trade facilitation.

“The agreement’s aim to increase the digitalisation of these procedures and put in place time limits for the release of shipments are welcome and should benefit SMEs in particular.”

Measures on data flows would speed up, and better facilitate, trade between the two countries, Forgione said.

SME focus

He noted the deal's “explicit recognition” that it is vitally important for SMEs to take advantage of the FTA, with a commitment to encourage and support them to do so.

Finally Forgione highlighted how, in the medium term, the agreement is “great news” for the UK’s aspirations to join Asian trade bloc the CPTPP, orientating the UK towards the fast-growing Pacific Rim.

* From article 23 of the agreement: 

  • reducing cost of trade through electronic means and streamlined self-declaration of origin procedures;
  • ensuring customs procedures are transparent and more trade-friendly through a trade single window which accepts e-documentation