Another win for Canterbury exporters and manufacturers

The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes news that New Zealand has signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU), New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner.

Chief Executive, Leeann Watson says "Canterbury businesses export about $10 billion worth of goods, or to 15 per cent of all New Zealand’s exports each year, and the increasing protectionism and geopolitical uncertainty we are seeing at the moment means we are becoming more vulnerable to our reliance on global markets."

"Free trade is more critical than ever to our continued prosperity, so this agreement is another big win for New Zealand, following the commencement of the NZ-UK FTA in May.

"Our manufacturing sector for example, which supports the employment of 36,000 people in Canterbury and contributes more than $4.2 billion to our regional economy, is set to see immediate benefits from the agreement, with 99.9% of tariffs being removed immediately after commencement meaning savings of $9.1 million per year for manufactured products entering the EU.

"With the agreement cutting red tape and levelling the playing field for businesses who export to the EU, we hope that Canterbury’s small and medium-sized businesses can better access their part of the $1.4 billion in additional GDP the agreement is predicted to bring to New Zealand by 2035.

"While we wanted to see better outcomes for our red meat and dairy sectors, we also recognise that there are several countries in the EU who have very protectionist agendas, so a signed deal is better than no deal and gives us a seat at the table to continue discussions."

The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce looks forward to monitoring the progression of the Agreement through our Parliament and the European Parliament - and celebrating the commencement with local businesses next year.


For more information contact:

Leeann Watson | Chief Executive, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce

Email: [email protected], Mobile: 027 447 7775