Celebrations to mark the first year anniversary of entry into force of the Korea-New Zealand free trade agreement have been held by the business communities in both countries.
On 17 November, around 100 business representatives and officials gathered in Seoul for a seminar organised by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) which featured presentations on the FTA, New Zealand economy, and business environment aimed at those who are new to the New Zealand market.
This was followed by an even larger networking event hosted by the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea (Kiwi Chamber) at which Ambassador Clare Fearnley, National Assembly Representative Hong Il-pyo, and Ministry for Trade, Industry and Energy Director-General Yoo Myung-hee delivered congratulatory remarks.
Less than a week later, on 22 November, a similar event was held in Auckland by the Korea New Zealand Business Council. This event involved presentations from Trade Commissioner Ryan Freer, New Zealand exporters already active in the Korean market, and Trade Minister Todd McClay.
In his keynote address (external link), Minister McClay noted that the latest goods trade figures show the FTA was delivering on its promise to increase prosperity in Korea and New Zealand.
During the first nine months of 2016, Korean goods exports to New Zealand are up 22% to NZ$1.62 billion compared to a year earlier on the back of stronger white-ware, television, and vehicle sales. New Zealand’s good exports fell overall by almost 6%, but food and beverage exports that were the major beneficiaries of tariff reductions under the FTA were up 16% to NZ$449 million.
The FTA turns one-year-old on 20 December 2016. A third round of tariff cuts will take place on 1 January 2017.