The second UK-New Zealand free trade agreement (FTA) negotiating round took place from 19 October to 2 November. Negotiators carried out 46 sessions over two weeks, covering all areas of the proposed FTA, and bringing us closer to agreeing an ambitious FTA. Between round 1 and round 2, both sides shared 35 draft texts and 25 position papers, which enabled detailed and constructive talks.
The talks underscored both countries’ commitment to removing trade barriers and creating new opportunities for business, and a belief that a deep and dynamic agreement can send a clear signal to the world that both the UK and New Zealand are prepared to fight protectionism and advance free and fair trade.
There has been encouraging progress on numerous areas of common interest. In the area of small and medium-sized enterprises, both sides reaffirmed their ambition to agree a chapter that will enable these businesses to fully benefit from the FTA. Productive conversations were also held on trade and the environment and promoting clean growth, where both countries are working closely together to support sustainable outcomes across the agreement.
Discussions also demonstrated shared ambition in trade in services, particularly exploring opportunities for the recognition of professional qualifications, as well as exploring innovative provisions to promote sustainable finance and diversity in the financial services sector. Our negotiations on digital trade also underlined shared aspirations, and a mutual intent to agree a cutting-edge chapter.
The groundwork was laid for the exchange of initial goods market access offers as well as positive discussions in the areas of rules of origin and customs on agreeing simple, modern customs procedures that consider current and future supply chains.
The UK and New Zealand are both keen to continue the momentum of discussions, and the third negotiating round is expected to take place in January 2021.
Below is a summary list of those areas discussed in the round, which continued to take place by video conference:
State-to-state dispute settlement
Environment and clean growth
Good regulatory practice
Trade in goods
Legal and institutional
Rules of origin
Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
Services (including cross-border trade in services, professional business services, transport and delivery services, and movement of natural persons)
Small and medium-sized enterprises
State owned enterprises
Technical barriers to trade
Trade and women’s economic empowerment
Trade for development
Any deal the UK Government agree will be fair and balanced and in the best interests of the whole UK. We remain committed to upholding our high environmental, labour, food safety and animal welfare standards in our trade agreement with New Zealand, as well as protecting the national health service (NHS).