British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern reached the deal more realistically on Wednesday in a video call, Britain’s Department of Foreign Trade said in a press release. “It is an excellent free trade agreement for the United Kingdom, which cements our longstanding friendship with New Zealand and strengthens our relations in the Indo-Pacific region,” Johnson said in a press release.
The UK hopes that the FTA will also help in joining the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (CPTPP). “A free trade area of 11 countries, with a GDP of $8.4 trillion in 2020,” the government says. The CPTPP, signed by New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Japan, among others, is the most important free trade agreement in the region. The UK formally applied for accession in February.
Since the United Kingdom left the European Union, London has already signed free trade agreements with the European Union, Japan and Australia (although they are not yet fully completed). It has already done so with European countries that are not part of the European Union, such as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The British government said Wednesday’s deal with New Zealand “will reduce paperwork for companies, eliminate tariffs on British exports and create new opportunities for technology and services companies”. The same source said that the volume of trade with New Zealand last year amounted to 2.3 billion pounds.