Press Release – New Zealand Government
Hon Todd McClay
Minister of Trade
29 April 2016
NZ to host RCEP negotiating round in Auckland
Trade Minister Todd McClay confirmed today New Zealand will host the 13th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade negotiation in Auckland from 12-18 June 2016.
“RCEP aims to broaden and deepen existing Free Trade Agreements between ASEAN and six other countries, including New Zealand,” says Mr McClay.
“It is important for New Zealand to play its part in these negotiations which offer us significant opportunities to increase our trade and economic links with the dynamic Asia region.”
Once completed, RCEP will be the largest trading bloc in the world in terms of population. The countries participating have a total population of over 3 billion people. They also account for around 27 per cent of global trade and have a combined GDP of $US23 trillion. Critically for New Zealand, the 15 other countries cover 55 per cent of our goods export markets (in 2015) and six of our top ten trading partners.
“It would not be in New Zealand’s interests to stand aside from a negotiation that covers at least 55 per cent of our merchandise exports,” says Mr McClay.
“RCEP is part of New Zealand’s ongoing trade agenda. Helping New Zealand businesses gain easier and better access to this dynamic and fast-growing region will provide significant benefits to our economy.
“New Zealand’s participation in RCEP complements New Zealand’s existing free trade agreements in Asia, and will help New Zealand build new FTA relationships, notably with India. It will help to make the region’s ‘noodle bowl’ of rules operate better together, reducing the costs for New Zealand’s businesses to operate in the region.
“Together with other agreements like TPP, RCEP underlines the government’s commitment to ensuring New Zealand actively participates in the development of the trade and economic architecture of the Asia Pacific,” says Mr McClay.
The government intends to provide further details about opportunities for stakeholders to present views and relevant information in connection with the RCEP negotiations.